Mississippi Appendectomy

Mississippi Appendectomy was a term coined by civil rights leader Fannie Lou Hamer-who was a victim of an appendectomy. These procedures were continuances of the forced sterilization projects characteristic of the 20s but were prominent during the 60s. The goal of these were to essentially reduce the number of African-Americans and to limit the reproductive rights of the woman.  A Mississippi Appendectomy consisted of a surgeon taking ultimate power over a patient’s body and performing coercive sterilization.  These practices mainly occurred in the Deep South-though they were not limited to this area and were aimed at poor Black women. The perpetrators persuaded these women into agreement by jeopardizing there welfare and/ or by targeting illiterate women-who again, did not have the choice that is so central to reproductive studies.