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Eugenic Sterilization in Utah

In 1925, Utah legislators passed a bill authorizing the coercive sterilization of people deemed to be eugenically “unfit”. Utah was one of over thirty states passing such laws, resulting in the sterilization of over 60,000 people living in the United States. Utah’s program was particularly aggressive, hailed by eugenicists for sterilizing so many residents, and lasting well into the 1970s. Professor Tabery's research team investigates this harmful and shameful chapter in Utah’s history, focusing on better understanding who was targeted by the assault on reproductive rights.

The team's first publication--"Victims of Eugenic Sterilization in Utah: Cohort Demographics and Estimate of Living Survivors"--was published in The Lancet Regional Health Americas in February 2023 and is free to download.


The Utah Department of Health and Human Services, in response to the publication, issued a formal apology for the state's sterilization program.

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This research is conducted in coordination with the Utah Center for Excellence in ELSI Research and the Sterilization and Social Justice Lab

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