Wednesday, May 19, 2021
Micaela Simpson, The Marshall Factor: How Forced Sterilization of Native American Women Birthed Generational Reproductive Injustice, Southern University L. Rev.
Native American women have suffered years of systematic injustice; the most tyrannical act in modern times may arguably be eugenics' practice through forced sterilization. Despite recent feminist movements and reproductive health reform, Native American women are missing from the conversation. The Marshall Trilogy's longstanding effects, comprised of three foundational Supreme Court decisions, has served as jurisprudence in federal Indian law and a catalyst to irreparable harm suffered by Native American women. Without proper redress, Native Americans will continue to be afflicted by perpetual generational injustice.
This Comment examines the direct correlation between Indian women's reproductive injustice and the Marshall Trilogy. The author examines precedence established in the Marshall Trilogoy and the Plenary Power Trilogy, in parallel with the Indian Constitution and the U.S. Constitution. Studies provide that the government-funded and performed forced sterilization on Native American women through the Indian Health Services. The constitution, treaties, and jurisprudence define the standard of care and protection the federal government must provide to Indian Nations. Readers can interconnect the government's delivery of care and protection or lack thereof to the current state of poor Indian and the federal government relations, high occurrence of poor health outcomes, lack of resources and funding, the improper exertion of power executed federally over Indians, and generational reproductive injustices suffered by Native American women.
The author concludes that the forced sterilization of Native American women and continued reproductive injustice result from the broken treaties and abuse of power founded in the Marshall Trilogy, and redress is warranted. The author offers federal reform, autonomy empowerment, and a grassroots approach to redress and eradicate reproductive injustice and the domino effects suffered by Native Americans