Female Prisoners Sterilized without Consent

"Sheri," 35, is one of the more than 140 female inmates who were sterilized by a procedure known as tubal ligation in California's state prisons from 2006 to 2010.

Tubal ligation generally is performed for the purpose of sterilization and usually not for another medical reason.

State regulations require informed consent before a woman can be sterilized, however a state audit released in June 2014 found that tubal ligation was performed on 39 of the women without legal consent. Most of the 144 women who were sterilized were between the ages of 26 and 40 and had multiple births. The procedure often was performed at the same time the women had a C-section to deliver a baby.

"Sheri," who wishes to keep her identity concealed, shares how she felt after she discovered she had a tubal ligation surgery without her knowledge while serving 15 years in California prison.

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill in September 2014 prohibiting forced sterilizations as a form of birth control in prisons.

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