Film screening addresses reproductive rights

Analicia Haynes, Administrative Editor

The Women’s Studies program will be hosting a screening of “No Más Bebés” followed by a discussion panel at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Coleman Auditorum.

“No Más Bebés” is a documentary about the Latin American women who sued LA County Hospital for nonconsensual sterilization in the 1970s.

The panel is expected to bring attention to issues such as women’s rights, diversity issues, and human rights as well as discuss how the documentary correlates with these issues.

Jeannie Ludlow, associate professor of English and coordinator of women’s studies, said the documentary shows an important and troubling chapter in the history of reproductive justice in the U.S.

“Too often when we think of reproductive justice in the U.S. we think of abortion, birth control and issues of choice. But the fact is that for many women in the us the choice to have a child has also been taken away,” Ludlow said.

Ludlow said she thinks the panel will be able to provide some background information on the topic and some context to help the audience understand the factors that enabled people to take away others’ reproductive abilities.

“The panel will also help us understand how this situation relates to other questions of reproductive justice, particularly for Latin Americans, for immigrants, and for people who struggle financially,” Ludlow said.

Mikki Sherwood, assistant chair and professor of family consumer sciences, said it is important for students to attend because they need to know and understand our (American) history.

“We have a some what ugly history on how we treated people and it’s easy to ignore that,” Sherwood said.

Sherwood said women’s reproductive rights are crucial and they are a basic human right that often goes overlooked.

“Why do they pay for Viagra and not birth control in some health care plans? That shows how we feel about women’s reproduction rights,” Sherwood said.

Sherwood said she plans to draw attention to underrepresented populations and bring some of the history about the issues and an understanding of diversity to make sure the audience knows what is happening and what has happened in the past.

“A lot of people haven’t heard this story and it needs to be known,” Sherwood said.

T.M. Linda Scholz, associate professor of communication studies, said the nonconsensual sterilization of Latin American women is a human rights issue that could still happen today.

“If we talk about people to be less than human than it becomes easier to enact a certain power over them,” Scholz said.

Scholz said she is a first generation American and was born about a half hour away from the hospital where the sterilization took place.

“This could have happened to my mother,” Scholz said.

Scholz said citizens are hearing some pretty scathing rhetoric that is very anti-immigrant and it is important that students are aware of the impact of xenophobic, ethnocentric racism against immigrants.

Scholz said students should be aware that this happened and will leave with a sense of awareness and understanding on the topic.


Analicia Haynes can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]