“In 1928, the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, Canada, enacted the Sexual Sterilization Act. The Act, drafted to protect the gene pool, allowed for sterilization of mentally disabled persons in order to prevent the transmission of undesirable traits to offspring. At that time, eugenicists argued that mental illness, mental retardation, epilepsy, alcoholism, pauperism, certain criminal behaviours, and social defects, such as prostitution and sexual perversion, were genetically determined and inherited. Further, it was widely believed that persons with these disorders had a higher reproduction rate than the normal population. As a result, it was feared the gene pool in the general population was weakening.
During the time the Alberta Sexual Sterilization Act was in effect, 4,725 cases were proposed for sterilization in the Province of Alberta, of which over 2,800 received approval. Examination of sterilization records demonstrates that legislation did not apply equally to all members of society. Specifically, the Act was disproportionately applied to those in socially vulnerable positions, including: females, children, unemployed persons, domestics, rural citizens, unmarried, institutionalized persons, Roman and Greek Catholics, persons of Ukrainian, Native and Métis ethnicity.”
The act was finally repealed in 1972. (image via.)