“Our bodies belonged to us. Poor, disabled, it didn’t matter. These were our bodies, and we had the right to “decide what to do with them. It was as if they were just taking our bodies from us, as if we didn’t even belong to ourselves.”
This historical fiction novel, inspired by the true events in Montgomery Alabama in 1973, focuses on the lives of Minnie Lee and Mary Alice Relf and the horrific forced sterilizations of between 100,000 and 150,000 recipients of welfare benefits in the 1970’s.
Minnie and Mary were victims of sterilization without their consent and later sued because of it.
In the novel, a nurse from the family planning clinic takes an interest in two young girls who were sterilized, trying to make a better life for them.