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October 28, 1950


Author Affiliations

255 Adams Street, Milton, Mass.

JAMA. 1950;144(9):783. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.02920090057029

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To the Editor:—  During 1949, to prevent the transmission of mental deficiency, psychosis and other hereditary diseases, 1,500 persons in 21 states were protected from parenthood by tubectomy at state or county expense (Reports of Human Betterment Foundation of California, Publication no. 5, Princeton, N. J., Birthright, Incorporated, 1950). This is an increase of 164 over the preceding year. Of these, 946 were done because of mental deficiency, 477 because of psychosis and 77 because of other hereditary handicaps. Each of these three groups was larger than in 1948. California reported the largest number, 381, followed by North Carolina (249), Virginia (215), Georgia (167) and Iowa (165). For comparisons between the states the sterilizations per 100,000 population have been calculated, using the Census Bureau's estimates for 1949, and are shown in the figure. Virginia was the leading state, with 6.9 per 100,000. The average for the 27 states having eugenic

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