A new documentary produced by Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Rene Tamjina-Pena tells the story of several Mexican women who in the late 1960s and early 1970s were sterilized in US hospitals. The women, young, fearful, and sometimes unable to speak English, were operated on with limited (or sometimes even no) consent.
After years of dubious sterilization of migrant women, a lawsuit (Madrigal vs. Quilligan) was brought before the Supreme Court by a number of Latino women, represented by a young Mexican-American lawyer, Antonia Hernandez. The documentary, premiering Monday on PBS, is an unsettling reminder of one of a number of historical events that led to the establishment of strict consent guidelines in hospitals around the US.
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