It is believed that the first of these sterilizations did not occur until 1929 (Paul, p. From the early1930s to 1947 there was a steady rate of sterilizations, however, the number of sterilizations then quickly declined and leveled off to a total of 789 people.Between 19 the rate of sterilizations was about 6 people sterilized per 100,000 residents per year.These involuntary sterilizations came to an end in 1976 when the Native Americans gained control of their health services (Torpy).There is very little information available about major proponents of eugenics in South Dakota.
79) In 1925 an amendment was added to the sterilization law that established the authority of a State Commission for Control of the Feeble-Minded and county boards of insanity.
Under the law the superintendent was to keep a record of all inmates operated on, with statistics and notes or observations regarding its benefits, and make an annual report to the Governor (Laughlin, pp. , to be subjected to sterilization decisions by the county boards.
Paul notes that sterilization could be either a quid pro quo for avoiding commitment, or for those already in the institution [in Redfield], a basis for release, and it provided for notice, hearing, and the right to appeal to the courts (Paul, p. anyone in the state could submit a complaint to a county subcommission concerning a sterilization, upon which an at large person could be committed for segregation from the general publication or sterilization (Paul, pp. nmates of Yankton State Hospital could be sterilized, provided they suffered from a) inherited mental diseases and were liable to pass them on to descendants; b) perversion of other departure from normal mentality; or c) a disease of a syphilitic nature (Paul, p. Precipitating factors and processes The states motives were both therapeutic and eugenic (Laughlin, p. During the time period in which the majority of the sterilizations occured the population was decreasing, declining from 694,000 people in 1930 to 652,000 people in 1950.
In South Dakota there were 789 victims of sterilizations.
Almost two thirds of those sterilized were women, and the majority of these victims were considered to be mentally disabled.
Nearly two-thirds of the people sterilized were women.