California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed a bill Thursday prohibiting forced sterilization in prisons. A report last year said that female inmates at facilities were being coercively sterilized as recently as 2010.
“Pressuring a vulnerable population into making permanent reproductive choices without informed consent is unacceptable, and violates our most basic human rights,” said state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D), the bill’s sponsor, in a statement.
Kelli Dillon, a Los Angeles domestic violence counselor, said she experienced forced sterilization when she was 24 years old in a California prison and said the bill “will protect the rightful reproductive capacity of women inside prison.”
“No one should have their opportunity to be a mother taken away or decided for them,” she said in a statement.
The bill prohibits sterilization as a form of birth control except for certain medical emergencies and was passed unanimously by the California Senate and Assembly.