CESA Statement of Purpose
Note: The Committee to End Sterlization Abuse issued the document
of their struggle against the use of sterilization to cure social
ills. CWLU members were very active in CESA.)
The women and men of CESA: Committee to End Sterilization
Abuse recognize the following:
- In the United States today there is a massive drive to convince
people that social evils such as poverty, overcrowding, increased
crime, poor education, poor health care, etc. are all due to overpopulation.
- Population control programs have been pushed by the U.S. for
people in the United States as well as in many countries abroad
to do exactly that: control people and keep us from understanding
the real causes of our suffering and thus keep us from dealing
with the problems by eliminating oppression and exploitation. By
pushing population control programs, the United States government
and corporations hope to stave off the struggles of people for
liberation from direct and indirect domination by the U.S.
- Sterilization of women, and to a lesser extent of men, is
on the increase in the United States. Sterilizations have tripled
in the last five years. This is the result of an increase in sterilizations
of women who are Black, Puerto Rican and Chicano and of all working
- Many sterilizations are done without women knowing that the
result is permanent, that there are complications, or that there
are other methods of birth control. Many are done on women who
are coerced by threats of withdrawal of services such as welfare,
the right to abortion, medical services and the like.
- In Puerto Rico, under the guise of needed population
control, the U.S. with the collaboration of the colonial government,
carried out programs for the past thirty years which have resulted
in the sterilization of fully one third of Puerto Rican women
of childbearing age. The Department of Health Education and Welfare
in the U.S. has stated that "As U.S. professional attitudes
change, it is possible that we may see sterilization become as
important in family planning in the fifty states as it already
is in Puerto Rico." For this reason CESA will focus particularly
on the case of Puerto Rico.
Sterilization abuse will continue unchecked and victimize many
more people unless we organize and struggle to stop it.
CESA is therefore working toward the following:
- to educate and publicize the issues raised by sterilization
abuse, namely the purposes that population control programs
to denounce the implementation of racism, sexism and the
oppression of working people within the health care system.
to demand that families and all women of childbearing
age have free access to methods of birth control within high
quality, comprehensive health care so that people
may exercise choices.
the establishment of guidelines on sterilization
for New York City hospitals which insure that women give
consent only after
being truly informed and counseled, are not coerced
into being sterilized and are permitted a waiting period of
days before the actual operation. Existing HEW
guidelines provide only
72 hours. The New York City guidelines will set
a precedent for all cities in the United States.
Both New York City and Puerto Rico fall under Region
11 for health services of the Health Education and
U.S. federal government. Clearly what is the rule in
Rico today -rampant sterilization abuse -may well become
in New York City. Conversely the fight for guidelines
in New York
will have repercussions in Puerto Rico. The guidelines
are the first to go beyond the federal guidelines and
toward halting sterilization abuse.
- initiating legal actions against those who abuse
patients' rights by whatever means.
CESA is unaffiliated and invites organizations and
individuals to participate in our program to end
There are a number of ways to participate, among
them: sponsorship, inclusion of the issue in your
and compiling mailing lists, donation of your time
money, help with production and distribution of
literature and publication of the issue within your communities
and your workplaces.
Join us in the struggle to end sterilization abuse!