From the beginning of the 20th century the U.S.A. and Puerto Rico governments have reproduced and believed the rhetoric that the poverty seen in Puerto Rico was connected to the over population in Puerto Rico. This was the philosophical basis for the 1937 birth control legislation enacted in Puerto Rico. Thus by 1949 a survey of Puerto Rican women found that 21% of women interviewed had been sterilized, with sterilizations being performed in 18% of all hospital births statewide as a routine post-partum procedure. In total it has been reported that around 8,000 women and 3,000 men had been sterilized. The effects of the sterilization and contraception campaigns of the 1900s in Puerto Rico are still felt in Puerto Rican cultural history today.
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