Sunday, February 14, 2016

Focus on Abortion Creates Racial Divide in Reproductive Justice Movement

Slate (Feb. 1, 2016): White Feminism Downplayed California's Coerced Sterilization of Latinas in the '70's, by Christina Cauterucci: 

This week, PBS aired the 2015 documentary No Más Bebés, chronicling the sterilizations of Mexican immigrant mothers giving birth at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center during the 1960s and 1970s. 

The film centers on a time period when the reproductive justice movement split as white women focused on the right to access abortion services and contraception while Latina women responded to coerced sterilization by advocating for statutory  waiting periods before sterilizations were granted. This separation of priorities has since created strong divisions in the movement for reproductive justice, on both race and class lines. 

“Since the beginning, the narrative of reproductive rights has focused so much on abortion,” No Más Bebés director Renee Tajima-Peña told me. “More and more today, the conversation around reproductive freedom does focus on the full spectrum of a woman’s reproductive rights—to have a child or not have a child. But it’s taken many decades, and a lot of work, especially [by] organizations led by women of color, to change that conversation.”

Watch No Más Bebés by clicking here

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