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forced sterilization

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Having a child renewed filmmaker Nanfu Wang's interest in China's one-child policy. In effect from 1979 to 2016, the restrictions on family size halted China's explosive population growth but have left the country with a rapidly aging population. 

From forced sterilizations and abortions to fines and propaganda campaigns, Wang examines how the policy was enforced in her new documentary, "One-Child Nation." The film won the grand jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival and recently screened at the True/False Film Festival in Missouri. 

On this special edition of Global Journalist, an in depth discussion between Wang and guest host Joshua Kranzberg about the film and the human legacy of a population control measure unmatched in history.


AP Photo

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at eugenics laws and forcible sterilization in both Japan and the U.S. – two countries with a surprisingly recent legacy of sterilizing people against their will.

In Japan, a postwar eugenics law in force until 1996 cleared the way for the government to sterilize 25,000 people deemed unfit to reproduce. In the U.S., 32 states passed laws allowing authorities to sterilize people without their consent - and as many as 60,000 people were forcibly sterilized, some as late as the 1970s.

Hundreds of the victims of these policies are still alive, and in many cases are still waiting for apologies and compensation from the governments that took away their ability to reproduce.