La Operacion .. The Operation... FEMICIDE in Puerto Rico

Nurses and doctors influential and respected in the Puerto Rican society
Trusted, valued, admired, confided in…… trusted

Take these new pills as part of a family planning program
and everything will be alright…. was said
Don’t worry if you pass out that’s just a little side effect…. was said
Along with cancer, possible death, blood clotting, nausea, depression, strokes, blurred vision and dizziness…. Was said

With complete control over the Islands development
the line of attack is put in place,
birth control clinics set up and called places of
“maternal health” or “maternal education”

A Government propaganda to minimize the population…

Women being used as guinea pigs for a potentially dangerous drug
Conned into being “Sterilized” and given “LA Operacion” during a routine visit

The trick is to give women time off to visit the clinics,
so they would not have to pay maternity leave or
lose workers to motherhood!
Work a full day, Get sterilized and be back to work the very next day

It’s the government promoting national genocide
There is no “official” program or policy on sterilization
They call it a form of
“birth control”
“Curbing the surplus population”
“Economic reform”
“Keeping poverty at bay”

The sterilization program in Puerto Rico
was aimed at the poor and uneducated

“People applying for housing, or welfare, or food stamps, find themselves receiving orientation, education, and motivation towards sterilization”

1/3 of all Puerto Rican women of child-bearing age sterilized,
without fully understanding the finality of the operation
many others without their knowledge at all

Maria, Esperanza, Gloria, Raquel, Isabel, Miranda
Operada, Operada, Operada
Sterilized and sterilized and sterilized
And back to work the very next day

There is a burden of sadness for what has been done to the female population. There is a dark cloud that hovers over the minds and bodies of these women scarring them for life

Using misleading propaganda and playing on the fears and aspirations of the poor and uneducated was the weapon of choice
Killing them one at a time, one dose at a time, one day at a time

The justification for programs like this has always been that the best way to deal with poor people is to limit their numbers

So…. Dona Maria, just take these new pills from the government
promoting national genocide and everything will be alright
Don’t worry if you pass out or get cancer
That’s just a little side effect,
besides… there are just too many people on this island and it’s your turn.

© Mia Roman

La Operacion .. The Operation... FEMICIDE in Puerto Rico


Joined February 2009

  • Artist
  • Artwork Comments 11

Artist's Description

In 1937, Law 116 exaggerated the need for a population control program, utilizing sterilization to maintain the birth rate as well as economic growth. This “theory” of sterilizing women to create a stable economic system proved false; the island continued to experience economic turmoil and still does to this day.

The United States government outright denied women access to reproductive health services. Puerto Ricans lacked the proper information on alternatives aside from sterilization. The government tricked these women, cutting some without their consent or burning those who intended for their tubes to be tied.

The government’s most mischievous form of issuing sterilization was a door-to-door visit by health workers. Eventually in Puerto Rico, sterilization became known as “la operacion,” giving it an infamous sound.

In 1968, more than one-third of women didn’t comprehend that sterilization through tubal ligation and tube tying was not just a form of contraception but an irreversible procedure.

Artwork Comments

  • Christopher  Raggatt
  • ArtByMia
  • helene ruiz
  • ArtByMia
  • sarahhoffman
  • ArtByMia
  • S .
  • ArtByMia
  • eoconnor
  • ArtByMia
  • tmorales
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

10% off

for joining the Redbubble mailing list

Receive exclusive deals and awesome artist news and content right to your inbox. Free for your convenience.