KERO 23 — Governor Jerry Brown signed into law State Senate Bill 1135, the Prison Anti-sterilization bill authored by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, which was also sponsored by legal and human rights organization Justice Now, and which also included bi-partisan support.
Supporters of the bill along with those directly impacted by these sterilizations say not only is it long overdue, but makes sense after so much evidence was presented outlining abuses.
"This bill not only affects those still inside prisons and the thousands of women who will go through prisons and jails in the near future; but most importantly, it protects generations of children to come who otherwise might not have had an opportunity to exist," said Kelli Dillon who was sterilized in her early 20's while incarcerate at Central California Women's facility in Chowchilla.
The discover that upwards of 100 illegal sterilizations of pregnant people imprisoned at Valley State Prison for Women and California Institution for Women between 2006 and 2010 spurred state lawmakers into action.
California's past includes performing an estimated third of sterilizations nationwide during the American Eugenics Movement and advising Nazi eugenic programs. In 2003, former state governor Grey Davis issued a formal apology for California's part in sterilizing approximately 20,000 mentally disabled people and other vulnerable populations from 1909 through the 1960s.