Apparently, the Federal government is still at war with all Native Americans as forced sterilization was performed on as many Native Americans as possible under the eugenics program. These procedures were done by physicians and healthcare workers who volunteered for the government with full knowledge of their intended actions.
The 1970s seemed to be the decade where most of the forced abortions and unneeded sterilizations were performed with 3,406 sterilizations and 81,912 abortions having been done without the subject’s consent on all Indian Reservations from 1973 to 1976. This of course is the official number reported by the federal government, but the actual numbers are more than likely much, much higher than this figure.
These numbers also only include native American women and don’t account for any of the male sterilizations which also occurred. There are no statistics available on the number of men sterilized against their will or without their knowledge.
Up until 1980, thousands of abortions were also done on women of all ages who would come to the clinic for minor illnesses or injuries. These were illness or injuries that had nothing to do with their pregnancy. In some cases, Native American women would come to the clinic to give birth and instead, an abortion would be performed. Hysterectomies, cases where the woman’s cervix was sewn shut, ovaries removed, and sterilization of males was the norm for all Native Americans Reservations.
Under the guise of eugenics, the Federal government attempted genocide of Native American population yet again. Although not successful, the damage done is very significant, involving tens to hundreds of thousands of people in multiple states.
I was born only four years after Eugenics was stopped by the courts. People wonder why native Americans are still at war and why it is so important to maintain our identity as Native Americans. It’s because the federal government even into recent times is still at war with us. They are still practicing genocide today just under different names.
Native Americans make up 8 percent of the population and 25 percent of planned parenthood’s money is spent ensuring abortions are readily available to Native Americans. Luckily we have our own doctors, hospitals and clinics now and our birth rates are on the rise. Proof again of our resilience in the face of extinction.
There are those who believe it is unnecessary to call myself Native American or that simply being born here makes them Native American. To those I say are you facing genocide for the past 523 years since Columbus arrived? I didn’t think so. And that is the distinction.
Side note and to be fair:
Forced and coerced sterilization in America has been going on for as long as medical science has had the capability of performing such procedures and involves much more than just Native Americans. Throughout the 1900’s, sterilization and abortions were performed on mental institution patients, people deemed feeble-minded, the poor, blacks, Mexicans, the disabled, female prisoners and anyone deemed by the medical profession to be out of the accepted norm.
My post is to highlight the continued plight of my people and why it’s important to not only self-identify as native American but also to draw the distinction between true Native Americans and people claiming it simply because they were born here.
Thanks for reading….