All requests for information or general queries can be directed to this contact form.
California Compensation Program
In 2021, California passed the California Forced or Involuntary Sterilization Compensation Program, which provides compensation to survivors of eugenic sterilization laws from 1909–1979 and survivors of involuntary sterilizations in women’s prisons after 1979. The Sterilization and Social Justice Lab’s research helped inform this effort, and the lead author of the bill was Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo. The bill was co-sponsored by the Back to the Basics Community Empowerment (BDB), Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF), California Latinas for Reproductive Justice (CLRJ), and California Coalition for Women Prisoners (CCWP), in collaboration with the Sterilization and Social Justice Lab and with contributions from the Belly of the Beast film team. The SSJL was the source for demographic information and contextual historical research to identify survivors from the historic era. We estimate that as many as 455 survivors may still be alive in 2021. See this fact sheet for more information.
The California Forced or Involuntary Sterilization Compensation Program will compensate approximately $25,000 per survivor, and will support the development of plaques and markers that raise awareness and acknowledge the history of eugenics and involuntary sterilization in the state. The SSJL is gratified that this bill will provide long-awaited compensation to survivors of involuntary sterilization in California.
For any queries or requests for interviews about the California Compensation Program, contact the Compensation Board directly at FISCP@victims.ca.gov or visit their website at https://victims.ca.gov/fiscp/.
We are not able to provide assistance to victims of sterilization or offer counsel on cases of reproductive injustice. Instead, we recommend reaching out to organizations like California Latinas for Reproductive Justice (CLRJ), who work to promote reproductive and sexual health, rights, and justice in California.
For survivor perspectives and stories, we recommend checking out No Más Bebes, Belly of the Beast, Wicked Silence, Amá, Reproduction on the Reservation by Brianna Theobald, A Whisper Past by Leilani Muir, and “‘You Just Feel Like Nothing’: California to Pay Sterilization Victims” by Amanda Morris in The New York Times.