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Take My Hand - Dolen Perkins-Valdez

Author: Dolen Perkins-Valdez

Started: June 26, 2022

Finished: June 27, 2022

Civil Townsend is freshly out of nursing school and ready to make a difference in her African American community in Alabama. She works at the Montgomery Family Planning Clinic and her first patients are Erica and India Williams, ages 13 and 11. She is to give each child Depo-Provera, an injectable birth control. It is discovered that the shots are not FDA approved and that neither child is sexually active. Upon hearing this, Civil takes it upon herself to stop giving the girls their shots. One day Civil goes to see the girls and discovers that her supervisor has taken them to the hospital "for their shots". It is discovered that the girls have had their tubes tied without their guardians being fully informed. What ensues next is a class action suit that takes on the federal government and those who did everything they could to hide the truth of what was really happening.

Based on the true story of poor minority women and how they were treated by the federal government. On the heels of the Tuskegee experiment, this new scandal is just as terrible as children were also victimized. The horrors that were inflicted on these poor women ranged from uninformed sterilization to tubal ligations that the women believed could be reversed.

I had heard wonderful things about this book and I was afraid that it would not live up to the hype but it very much did. This was a well-researched, well-written account of what could have happened when the government's behavior was discovered. I look forward to reading more thought provoking historical fiction from Dolen Perkins-Valdez.

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