Contraception or eugenics? Sterilization and "mental retardation" in the 1970s and 1980s.

Canadian bulletin of medical history = Bulletin canadien d'histoire de la medecine

PubMedID: 24909024

Ladd-Taylor M. Contraception or eugenics? Sterilization and "mental retardation" in the 1970s and 1980s. Can Bull Med Hist. 2014;31(1):189-211.
Nonconsensual sterilization is usually seen as the by-product of a classist and racist society; disability is ignored. This article examines the 1973 sterilization of two young black girls from Alabama and other precedent-setting court cases involving the sterilization of "mentally retarded" white women to make disability more central to the historical analysis of sterilization. It analyzes the concept of mental retardation and the appeal of a surgical solution to birth control, assesses judicial deliberations over the "right to choose" contraceptive sterilization when the capacity to consent is in doubt, and reflects on the shadow of eugenics that hung over the sterilization debate in the 1970s and 1980s.