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  • Publicado : 11 de mayo de 2011
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La Operación
Since the United States assumed governance of Puerto Rico in 1898, population control has been a major effort. Sterilization was the most widespread method of fertility control in theUnited States. In 1995, 28 percent of the female population was surgically sterilized. In most cases, sterilization renders an individual incapable of having more children. Female sterilization isknown as tubal ligation. This method was use because the U.S., worried that overpopulation of the island would lead to disastrous social and economic conditions, instituted public policies aimed atcontrolling the rapid growth of the population. The passage of Law 116 in 1937 signified the institutionalization of the population control program. This program, designed by the Eugenics Board, wasintended to “catalyze economic growth,” and respond to “depression-era unemployment.” Both U.S. government funds and contributions from private individuals supported the initiative.
Instead of providingwomen with access to alternative forms of safe, legal and reversible contraception, U.S. policy promoted the use of permanent sterilization. Institutionalized encouragement of sterilization through theuse of “door-to-door” visits by health workers, financial subsidy of the operation, and industrial employer favoritism toward sterilized women pushed women towards having “la operacion.” Thesecoercive strategies denied women access to informed consent because of their lack of education.
Thousands of sterilizations were performed in public hospitals by doctors who explicitly encouraged theirpatients to undergo sterilization procedures rather than use other forms of birth control. Sterilization: a procedure that closes the fallopian tubes, and stops the egg from traveling to the uterus fromthe ovary. It also prevents sperm from reaching the fallopian tube to fertilize an egg; fallopian tubes are cut, burned, or blocked with rings, bands or clips. Sterilization became legal in Puerto...
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