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Hospital at the Viriginia Colony where Carrie Buck was sterilized. The Buck vs. Bell decision opened the floodgate of eugenic sterilization. Prior to the trial, 18 states had statutes under which about 6,000 sterilizations had been performed. By 1935, 30 states had statutes, and more than 21,000 had been sterilized. Almost half of all eugenic sterilizations took place in California, where a vocal eugenics lobby was led by Paul Popenoe, E.S. Gosney, F.W. Hatch, and David Starr Jordan. In 1942, the Supreme Court struck down a law allowing the involuntary sterilization of criminals, but it never reversed the general concept of eugenic sterilization. Although eugenic sterilizations slowed after World War II, some continued into the 1970s, by which time an estimated 60,000 Americans had been sterilized.
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