Title

Modern Day Eugenics and Reproductive Injustice: Discussion of Emmy Award Winning Film Belly of the Beast

Streaming Media

Document Type

Video

Date

10-20-2021

Abstract

Coerced sterilizations in U.S. women’s prisons have been banned for nearly 40 years. However, these unethical practices have continued in some facilities, sometimes shielded by the very officials and doctors charged with protecting the health of those who are incarcerated. These practices echo past advocates of eugenics who believed they could improve future generations by restricting reproduction of people they believed to be unfit: the poor, uneducated, mentally or physically disabled, minority, allegedly criminal, or otherwise undesirable. This session will feature clips from the Emmy Award winning film Belly of the Beast, which follows a woman involuntarily sterilized while in a California prison and a human rights lawyer who fought to expose this reproductive injustice. Professor Paul Lombardo, an expert who consulted on the film, will explore themes of this modern-day eugenics, the role of systemic racism, and the fight for rights and reparations for victims. Immigration attorney Sarah Owings will discuss recent similar atrocities against immigrants held at a south Georgia detention center, now closed after a whistle-blower brought these practices to light.

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