Friday, January 29, 2016

No Más Bebés

On 1 February, a documentary called No Más Bebés, will be broadcast in the USA on PBS (the Public Broadcast Station).  "No más bebés" is Spanish for "No more babies".  The documentary is about Madrigal v. Quilligan, which was a civil-rights lawsuit in 1978 where 10 poor Mexican-American women sued the Los Angeles County University of Southern California Medical Centre.

The women charged the hospital and doctors had sterilised them without their informed consent.  Some were sterilised during labor, some were pressured into signing away consent, and some refused but were sterilised anyway.

The California judge ruled for the hospital.  Even though the women lost it pushed the federal government into enforcing regulations against sterilisation abuse and brought women's issues forward for Mexican-American women.

Here's the promotional video for the show that I found on YouTube.

My brother-in-law's mother, Helena Orozco, was one of the plaintiffs.  My 13-year old niece did a project about this as her National History Day entry at school.  She did well and will now advance to the county level competition.  She was also interviewed and quoted in Claudia Dreifus' article about this in The Nation.

My niece never got to meet her grandmother, who died before she was born.  I'm glad that she had the opportunity to see her grandmother in the film.  I am blown away by my niece's maturity and civic awareness at such a young age.

Good luck Emme!!

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