Federally funded sterilization: Time to rethink policy?

Sonya Borrero, Nikki Zite, Mitchell D Creinin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


In the 1970s, concern about coercive sterilization of low-income and minority women in the United States led the US Department of Health, Education, and Welfare to create strict regulations for federally funded sterilization procedures. Although these policies were instituted to secure informed consent and protect women from involuntary sterilization, there are significant data indicating that these policies may not, in fact, ensure that consent is truly informed and, further, may prevent many low-income women fromgetting a desired sterilization procedure. Given the alarmingly high rates of unintended pregnancy in the United States, especially among low-income populations, we feel that restrictive federal sterilization policies should be reexamined and modified to simultaneously ensure informed decisionmaking and honor women's reproductive choices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1822-1825
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Public Health
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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