Surgery: Voluntary Sterilization

Though neither doctors nor their patients like to talk about it, voluntary sterilization has become one of the most popular operations in the U.S. Statistics pile up behind a veil of silence, but best estimates are that 1,500,000 Americans have already been sterilized and 100,000 more are operated on each year.

The procedure is the surest of all methods of birth control, but it got off to a bad start because it has often been equated with involuntary operations performed on mental defectives and criminals (TIME, Nov. 13). It has also been confused...

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