Sterilization in Puerto Rico, 1950s

Query from Ed Morman 29 September 1999

Does anyone know of historical scholarship done on a sterilization program conducted in Puerto Rico in the 1950s? A quick MEDLINE search netted nothing in English or Spanish. Thanks.


Azize-Vargas, Yamila At U of Puerto Rico, expert on reproductive rights in PR; contact at

Briggs, Laura Dissertation "Reproducing Empire: Race and Sex, Science and Reform in Puerto Rico and the Mainland U.S., 1880-1960" (Brown University, 1998).

"Discourses of ' Forced Sterilization ' in Puerto Rico: The Problem With the Speaking Subaltern" _Differences_ 10.2 ( Summer ,1998).

Flores, Nilda Contact at the Dept. of Sociology and Latin American Studies at the Univ. of Illinois at Chicago.

Horton, Anore Addressing this subject in her dissertation. Reach her at

Mosher, William D. "The Theory of Change and Response: An Application to Puerto Rico, 1940-1970' _Population Studies_, Vol. 34, No. 1 (Mar. 1980), pp. 45-58.

Rameriz de Arellano, Annette B. and Conrad Seipp. _Colonialism, Catholicism, and Contraception: A History of Birth Control in Puerto Rico_(UNC Press, 1983).

Warren, Charles W., Charles F. Westoff, Joan M. Herold, Roger W. Rochat and Jack C. Smith "Contraceptive Sterilization in Puerto Rico," _Demography, Vol. 23, No. 3 (Aug. 1986), pp. 351-365.

Wilmoth, John R. and Patrick Ball '"The Population Debate in American Popular Magazines, 1946-90." _Population and Development Review_ Vol. 18, No. 4. (Dec..., 1992). pp. 631-668

Other Suggestions: A small book produced by CARASA (Committee for Abortion Rights and Against Sterilization Abuse) _Women Under Attack_

A documentary made in mid-1980s entitled "La Operacion."

The Wellcome Unit for History of Medicine at Oxford Univ. had two grad students earlier this year ...working on Puerto Rico. It should be possible to get in