Wednesday, October 28, 2015
New Documentary on Forced Sterilization of Latinas and Chicanas
No Más Bebés tells the story of Mexican immigrant mothers who sued doctors, the state, and the U.S. government after they were sterilized while giving birth at Los Angeles County General Hospital during the 1970s. Alongside an intrepid, 26-year-old Chicana lawyer and armed with hospital records secretly gathered by a whistle-blowing young doctor, these mothers stood up to powerful institutions in the name of justice. Their landmark 1975 civil rights lawsuit, Madrigal v. Quilligan, asserted that a woman’s right to bear a child is guaranteed under the Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade. This important film extols the significant contribution of Chicana activists who sought to redefine reproductive politics as comprising not only the right to have an abortion but also the right to bear a child. Their demand that the needs of poor women and women of color be heard resonates powerfully today, as women’s reproductive choice is under attack and the reproductive justice movement struggles to insure that all women have a voice in the debate.