Oregon's governor apologises for forced sterilisationsBMJ 2002; 325 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.325.7377.1380/b (Published 14 December 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;325:1380
- Deborah Josefson
In a historic gesture Oregon's governor, John Kitzhaber, has apologised to thousands of Oregonians who were forcibly sterilised while in the care of the state.
Between 1923 and 1981 Oregon actively practised eugenics and forcibly sterilised people who were mentally ill, had epilepsy, were criminals, or were homosexual. The state also sterilised residents of reform schools and girls who were considered promiscuous. A total of 2648 people were subjected to sterilisation by castration, tubal ligation, hysterectomy, or vasectomy.
Oregon's eugenics bill was introduced into the state legislature in 1907 and was passed in its initial form in 1913. A Board of Eugenics …