The current issue of USA Today contains a feature article on the history of eugenics in the United States. The article focuses on the work of Georgia State University legal historian Paul Lombardo. Lombardo has spent his thirty year career researching the involuntary sterilization laws that led to the often undisclosed sterilization of Americans deemed unfit. In 1920s Virigina, Carrie Buck (pictured on the left) was sterilized due to her feeble-minded state. In Buck’s case, sterilization took place under the guise of an appendicitis operation, and it was not until she was in her sixties that she learned of the surgery’s true purpose. A lawsuit over the legality of the operation made its way to the United States Supreme court in the now infamous 1927 Buck v. Bell decision, decided in part by powerhouse Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. Those interested in Lombardo may consult his book on the case, Three Generations, No Imbeciles, released last fall. The USA Today piece on Lombardo and his work can be found here.
2 thoughts on “Buck v. Bell in USA Today”
As I recall, it was Cheiron member Donna Cone who “found” Carrie Buck and researched and wrote the story of her sterilization. I didn’t see her mentioned in this story.
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