LOS ANGELES – Chair Hilda L. Solis released the following statement after the Board of Supervisors approved her motion to urge State leaders to provide reparations to survivors of forced sterilizations at the LAC+USC Medical Center, while exploring the ability for the County to do so as well if the State does not act:
“It has never been more important to create an equitable and comprehensive healthcare system. However, any intentional efforts to address systemic racism and build more equitable approaches into County services moving forward must confront the most egregious sins of the past. This includes reckoning with and addressing the forced sterilizations suffered by over 240 women at the LAC+USC Medical Center between 1968 and 1974. The passage of today’s motion is rooted in these efforts and holding ourselves accountable for these horrific actions.
A public apology to these women was the first step toward acknowledging a history that has been denied and hidden for far too long. Now, we are taking actionable steps to provide support, including potential financial reparations for the harm inflicted upon these women, who were predominantly Latinx, at LAC+USC.
While no amount of money could ever fully be enough to account for the terrible experiences these women endured through the sterilization program, at the very least we can try to provide financial reparations that can help these survivors ease any financial burdens they may be experiencing. Beyond the scope of these reparations, the County is committed to ensuring unethical and cruel medical practices are no longer employed or introduced in the future.”
The motion directs the Sacramento Advocates to send a letter to the Governor, the California Senate President, and the Speaker of the California State Assembly to advocate for reparations for the survivors at LAC+USC in the FY22-23 budget.
The motion also instructs the Chief Executive Officer, in collaboration with the Department of Health Services to determine the feasibility of DHS’ ability to identify the patients impacted by the coerced sterilization at LAC+USC Medical Center between the years of 1968 and 1974 and validate said individuals; Explore the feasibility of utilizing existing DHS funding sources to provide appropriate reparations to the survivors of the coerced sterilization at LAC+USC Medical Center between the years of 1968 and 1974 in the event the State does not provide the additional compensation through legislation or via the FY22-23 budget; Engage with community regarding appropriate reparations and methods of validation; and report back to the Board within 90 days with the findings.
To view the full motion, click here.
Stephany Villaseñor, Communications Director, (213) 308-9017 or SVillasenor@bos.lacounty.gov