National Health Law Program: Comments on Sterilization Consent Form

National Health Law Program: Comments on Sterilization Consent Form

Executive Summary

Established in the 1970s, the Medicaid Consent for Sterilization policy was, and remains, a much-needed protection against coercive sterilization practices.The United States has an ugly history of forcibly sterilizing low-income people, and particularly targeting low-income women, women of color, immigrant women, and women with disabilities to advance eugenics principles. In comments to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the National Health Law Program, together with 40 health and advocacy organizations, reiterated the importance of the form to combat coercive sterilization practices. The letter also provides suggestions to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the consent form for people with disabilities, individuals with limited English proficiency, LGBTQ individuals, and people with low literacy levels who want to undergo sterilization.

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