In her research, Stern combed through records from the department of mental health in Sacramento, where she found data about the thousands of individuals who were subjected to sterilization, discovering patterns in age, gender, and diagnoses. 

"It's easy to forget about these patients who were in these remote institutions in the 1940s and '50s in California," says Stern. "However, I think it behooves the state to not forget this history, and all of us to not forget this history."

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