Activists Want Sims Statue Removed from Capitol

May 10, 2018

Statue honoring Dr. J. Marion Sims, Montgomery, Ala.

A group of activists is calling for the removal of a statue on the grounds of the Alabama Capitol honoring a 19th century doctor who experimented on slaves.

Alabama state Senator Hank Sanders and other members of the group Save Ourselves Movement for Justice and Democracy held a press conference yesterday calling for the removal of the statue of Dr. J. Marion Sims.

The statue honors Sims as the "father of modern gynecology". In his research, Sims conducted experimental surgery without anesthesia on enslaved African-American women. Those treatments led to the basis of modern vaginal surgery.

A local activist was arrested last month on criminal trespassing charges after performing a skit in front of the statue on Confederate Memorial Day.

Also last month, New York City officials relocated a statue of Sims from Central Park to the cemetery where Sims is buried.