Number of Victims
The eugenics project in Louisiana did not result in known sterilizations of mentally ill, those who were considered "feeble-minded," or other groups.

Passage of Laws 
The one law passed in Louisiana pertaining to the eugenics movement covered anyone who, though not mentally ill, suffered from an inborn mental defect “so pronounced that he is incapable of managing himself and his affairs, or being taught to do so, and requires supervision, control and care for his own welfare or the welfare of others, or for the welfare of the community” (Larson, p. 83).

Groups identified in the law 
Louisiana’s eugenics movement targeted mainly poor whites (Larson, p. 157), who were insane, criminal, consumptive, scorbutic, syphilitic, aye, or a pauper (Larson, p. 54).  These people were never sterilized but segregated by institutions.

Process of the law
The state legislature approved the construction of a state colony for the mentally retarded and the medical community became interested in the forced sterilization of eugenically unfit patients within that colony and other state institutions (Larson, p. 53).  The mentally retarded, as well as the other groups identified in the law were placed in state institutions but no sterilizations were ever actually performed.

Precipitating factors and processes 
The reason most likely causing the absence of any sterilizations in Louisiana was their focus on creating state institutions for the targeted groups for segregation.  The watchword of the day was prevention (Larson, p. 54).  If these people were placed under a watchful eye in state institutions, then the creation of more hereditary unfit people was impossible.

Racial segregation was also very important to supremacist Louisiana residents.  The “fear of interracial sex entered the annals of law, politics, and protest” (Cahn, p. 276). Jean Gordon, a Louisiana activist stated that without sterilization “our Nordic civilization is gone” (Cahn, p. 164). Proponents of sterilization believed that poor whites were corrupting the white race by having mixed-race and feeble-minded children.

Groups targeted and victimized
The groups targeted during the Louisiana eugenics project include poor whites (Larson, p. 157), rapists (Larson, p. 52), and the insane, criminal, consumptive, scorbutic, syphilitic, aye, and paupers (Larson, p. 54).

Other restrictions placed on those identified in the law or with disabilities in general   
The president of the Louisiana State Medical Society, Joseph A. O’Hara, advocated for the supervision of marriage to prevent procreation of the hereditarily unfit (Larson, p. 53).

Major proponents 
The most prominent proponent of the eugenics movement in Louisiana was Jean M. Gordon, the youngest daughter of a socially prominent New Orleans family. She lived with her two older sisters, Frances and Kate, both of whom pursued active careers as progressive reformers, but Jean Gordon took charge of the Louisiana eugenics movement by pursuing social reform and a crusade against child labor.  After becoming the first female factory inspector in New Orleans, she became obsessed with the poor mental and moral condition of children working in these factories (Larson, p. 77).  Gordon eventually established the Milne Home for Destitute Orphan Girls that was intended to provide for the segregation and sterilization of mentally disabled women (Larson, pp. 77-78).

The Louisiana Southern Gentlemen was a white supremacist organization in Louisiana that was also a proponent of many eugenic ideals (Cahn, p. 278).

“Feeder institutions” and institutions where sterilizations were performed 
There were many institutions for undesirables in Louisiana but none where sterilizations were performed.  Most of these institutions were opened between 1919 and 1923 (Noll, p. 23).  The financial costs of building, maintaining, and adequately staffing these institutions became prohibitive especially during the depression (Noll, p. 48-49), and often these institutions could rarely provide more than basic care (Noll, p. 124). These institutions included the South Louisiana Hospital for the Insane (Larson, p. 44), the Milne Home for Destitute Orphan Girls, the East Louisiana Hospital for the Insane (Larson, pp. 77-78), and Louisiana’s State Colony and Training School in Alexandria (Larson, p. 92).  G.M.G. Stafford, the superintendent of Louisiana’s Sate Colony and Training School, expressed his concern by voicing the fact that Louisiana could provide little more that a bed and the necessary food to all of its patients (Noll, p. 49).  This institution housed the delinquents and non-delinquents together (Noll, p. 120) as well as the white and black "feebleminded" persons in segregated quarters.

History of Institutions
South Louisiana Hospital for the Insane, Milne Home for Destitute Orphan Girls, East Louisiana Hospital for the Insane, Louisiana’s State Colony and Training School in Alexandria, Central Louisiana State Hospital are the relevant institutions.

The East Louisiana Hospital for the Insane is considered to be one of the largest and most important Greek Revival architecture buildings in Louisiana.  Still in operation today the institution has gone by the names East Louisiana State Hospital for the Insane, Jackson State Hospital, and the Eastern Louisiana Mental Health System. Located in Jackson, Louisiana the East Louisiana State Hospital opened in 1848 and the following image appeared on a postcard of the asylum in 1907. This instiution was among the first in the South of its type.
The Central Louisiana State Hospital was established in 1902 and opened in 1906. The facility has been known by many names since it began to house and treat the mentall ill on January 6, 1906 but is currently known at the Central Louisiana State Hospital. The first superintendent was Dr. George A.B. Hays. The building and grounds style of the institution is a cottage plan which is unique (Asylum Projects).
The Milne Home for Destitute Orphan Girls is located in New Orleans, Louisiana and is now a privitized health care facility. The Milne Home for Destitute Orphan Girls was established in 1925 and is now also referred to as the Milne Home for girls ("Milne Asylm For Destitute Orphan Girls."). Jean Gordon was the president of the Milne Asylum for Destitute Orphan Girls.
Picture of East Louisiana Hospital for the Insane
Photo of the East Louisiana Hospital for the Insane
(Photo origin: Asylym Projects, 1907 Postcard, available at http://www.asylumprojects.org/index.php?title=File:Jackson_Louisiana_SH_PC.jpg)

Like all other eugenics programs going on in the world in the early to mid-twentieth century, Louisiana’s program was opposed by the Catholic Church all the way up to the Pope who denounced eugenics in front of the whole world. Catholic voters had large numbers of citizens and solid economic backing in Louisiana and so were able to defeat eugenic sterilization legislation (Cahn, p. 171).   Also, the emphasis on family in the Deep South fought against allowing outside agencies control over family matters such as fertility (Larson, pp. 7-9).  Furthermore, the disabled and others who needed it were traditionally cared for by their families (Larson, pp. 8-9) (see also Alabama for other factors mitigating against the adoption of eugenic sterilization laws).

Recent Controversy
In 2008 a Louisiana lawmaker, John LaBruzzo, proposed a plan to sterilize the poor women of Louisiana to hypothetically improve the welfare system. In a plan lower welfare costs on society LaBruzzo proposed that poor women be paid one thousand dollars to be sterilized. Worried that individuals in Louisiana receiving government aid reproduce at a faster rate than "more affluent, better-educated people who presumably pay more tax revenue to the government,"John LaBruzzo's proposition would essentially bribe poor women to undergo surgical sterilization (Waller). Many people, including New Orleans' Catholic archbishop Alfred Hughes opposed LaBruzzo's proposal due to it's eugenic ideas (Gibson). While still a representative of Louisiana in the House of Representatives, LaBruzzo's eugenic ideas for the welfare system have made no progress towards becoming a law as of 2011.
Photo of politician John LaBruzzo(Photo origin: New Orleans Metro Real Time News: Elections Page, available at http://www.nola.com/news/index.ssf/2008/09/labruzzo_sterilization_plan_fi.html)



Asylum Projects. N.p., 28 Jan. 2011. Web. 24 Apr. 2011. <http://www.asylumprojects.org/index.php?title=File:Jackson_Louisiana_SH_PC.jpg>.

Cahn, Susan K. 2007. Sexual Reckonings: Southern Girls in a Troubling Age. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.

Gibson, David. 2008. "Eugenics lives! Louisiana lawmaker wants to sterilize the poor." Pontifications. beliefnet. 28 Sept. <http://blog.beliefnet.com/pontifications/2008/09/eugenics-lives-louisiana-lawma.html>.

Larson, Edward. 1995. Sex, Race, and Science: Eugenics in the Deep South. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Louisiana House of Representatives. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2011. <http://house.louisiana.gov/h_reps/members.asp?id=81>.

"Milne Asylm For Destitute Orphan Girls." We Do Small Business. Manta. Manta Media  <http://www.manta.com/c/mtgg2w7/milne-asylm-for-destitute-orphan-girls>.

Noll, Steven. 1995. Feeble-Minded in Our Midst: Institutions for the Mentally Retarded in the South, 1900-1940. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press.

Waller, Mark. 2008. "New Orleans Metro Real Time News." Elections Page. nola.com. N.p., 23 Sept. <http://www.nola.com/news/index.ssf/2008/09/labruzzo_sterilization_plan_fi.html>.