WBEZ | Latinas http://www.wbez.org/tags/latinas Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Film Portrays a 'Perfect Storm' That Led to Unwanted Sterilizations for Many Latinas http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/film-portrays-perfect-storm-led-unwanted-sterilizations-many-latinas-114675 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/no_mas_bebes.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>About 40 years ago, when she was 24, Consuelo Hermosillo had an emergency caesarean section at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center. In the new documentary<em>&nbsp;No Más Bebés, </em>she recalls asking her doctor what type of birth control she should use going forward.</p><p>&quot;He goes, &#39;You don&#39;t need anything. We cut your tubes,&#39;&quot; Hermosillo says in the film. &quot;And I said, &#39;Why?&#39; And he said, &#39;Well you signed for it.&#39; And I said, &#39;Me?&#39;&quot;</p><p><a href="http://www.nomasbebesmovie.com/"><em>No Más Bebés (No More Babies)</em>,</a>&nbsp;which airs on PBS on Feb. 1, tells the story of how 10 immigrant Mexican women, Hermosillo included, sued LA County doctors, the state and the U.S. government in 1975 for allegedly violating their civil rights. The women&#39;s cases were similar. Each had an emergency cesarean section and each said she was either unaware that she signed for a tubal ligation or was told by a medical professional that not signing for one could mean death for her and her unborn child.</p><p><em>No Más Bebés&nbsp;</em>examines how the lawsuit,&nbsp;<em>Madrigal v. Quilligan,</em> came to be, how questions of informed consent &mdash; or lack thereof &mdash; and coercion played into the case, and how the collision of various societal issues resulted in stories like Hermosillo&#39;s.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="435" scrolling="no" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/aseQlmKg25U" title="No Mas Bebés, which airs on PBS on Feb. 1, tells the story of how 10 immigrant Mexican women sued Los Angeles County doctors, the state and the U.S. government in 1975 for allegedly violating their civil rights." width="620"></iframe></p><div id="storytext"><p>&quot;When you&#39;re a filmmaker, the easiest thing to do is make a film about the good guys and the bad guys, the heroes and the villains,&quot; says&nbsp;No Más Bebés&nbsp;director&nbsp;<a href="http://www.asianam.ucla.edu/people/renee-tajima-pe%C3%B1a">Renee Tajima-Peña</a>. Tajima-Peña says she and co-producer&nbsp;<a href="http://itvs.org/films/no-mas-bebes/filmmaker">Virginia Espino</a>, a historian who wrote her dissertation on the case, wanted to tell a multilayered story, one that revealed how even the best intentions could do harm.</p><p>Tajima-Peña and Espino explore the roles played by federally funded family-planning programs; a growing popular movement to curb population growth that attracted both environmentalists and anti-immigration proponents; doctors fresh out of medical school working in under-resourced maternity wards; cultural misunderstandings; and the popular belief that poor women who need public assistance should abstain from having children.</p><p>Taken together, these factors created what Tajima-Peña calls a &quot;perfect storm&quot; resulting in the sterilization of thousands of vulnerable women across the country in the late &#39;60s and early 1970s. She and Espino say their goal was to document a history that continues to repeat itself &mdash; they point to&nbsp;<a href="http://cironline.org/reports/female-inmates-sterilized-california-prisons-without-approval-4917">nearly 150 women sterilized in California prisons between 2006 and 2010</a>&nbsp;as the most recent example.</p><p>In telling this history, the film highlights the role played by the Family Planning and Population Research Act, which Congress passed in 1970 allocating millions for family-planning purposes. That money went to fund contraceptives, education, research and training. &quot;You&#39;ve got money for family planning programs, which were good programs and provided contraceptives for women who couldn&#39;t afford it,&quot; says Tajima-Peña. Congress also lifted a ban on federal funding for sterilization, so hospitals that provided the indigent with medical care, like Los Angeles County General Hospital, could apply for government money to perform tubal ligations.</p><p>Meanwhile, lobbying efforts in Washington, fueled by a fear of overpopulation gripping the nation, led to yet more funding for family planning programs. Inspired by the popularity of biologist Paul Ehrlich&#39;s best-selling 1968 book,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/01/us/the-unrealized-horrors-of-population-explosion.html">The Population Bomb</a>, which predicted that at some point in the 1980s, overpopulation would make it impossible for the planet to support humanity, members of the &quot;zero population movement&quot; worked to convince the public that having children was a very bad idea. Some went so far as promoting the sterilization of women deemed to have had too many. (They also called for a dramatic reduction to immigration.)</p><p>Then, there were divisions within the feminist movement on how sterilization fit into the bigger picture of reproductive rights. Mainstream white feminists marched for &quot;the right to choose,&quot; including unfettered access to sterilizations, contraception and abortions. Feminists of color also called for abortion rights and easy access to contraception, but broke with white feminists on the issue of sterilization, arguing that for women of color, sterilization was not always a matter of choice. They called for waiting periods before tubal ligation procedures, and Latina activists called for Spanish-language consent forms.</p><p>In&nbsp;No Más Bebés, California politician&nbsp;<a href="http://www.latimes.com/la-oe-morrison-new29-2009aug29-column.html">Gloria Molina</a>, who was active in the Chicana feminist movement in the 1970s, says the idea of a waiting period was &quot;totally offensive&quot; to white feminists, who, she says, pushed for sterilization upon demand. &quot;They weren&#39;t taking into account that if you were Spanish-speaking, and if you don&#39;t speak English, you were being denied a right, totally,&quot; Molina says in the film.</p><p>And then there was the long-held stance, still popular today, that poor women should not have children they can&#39;t afford to support, especially poor women of color. For decades,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.uic.edu/orgs/cwluherstory/CWLUArchive/puertorico.html">Puerto Rican women had been subjected to sterilizations at various points</a>&nbsp;as a way to combat astronomical unemployment and poverty on the island; a 1965 survey found that a third of Puerto Rican mothers living on the island at the time had been sterilized.&nbsp;<a href="https://muse.jhu.edu/login?auth=0&amp;type=summary&amp;url=/journals/american_indian_quarterly/v024/24.3lawrence.html">Native American women</a>&nbsp;were sterilized at the hands of the Indian Health Service in the 1970s. Poor African-American women on government assistance were also sterilized across the country during that time period.&nbsp;<a href="https://www.splcenter.org/seeking-justice/case-docket/relf-v-weinberger">A particularly damning case</a>, brought two years before&nbsp;<em>Madrigal v. Quilligan</em>, involved two black sisters sterilized at ages 14 and 12 in Alabama.</p><p>So, to recap: You had a surge of federal money for sterilizations, mainstream feminists calling for easier access to them, a fear that overpopulation would soon destroy the planet and the fear that poor women were burdening the country with children whom taxpayers would need to feed, clothe and educate. This nexus of events &mdash; and the consequences, intended and unintended, that followed &mdash; is the knot that&nbsp;No Más Bebés&nbsp;tries to untie.</p><p>&quot;Why were they doing it?&quot; Consuelo Hermosillo, one of the 10 plaintiffs in&nbsp;<em>Madrigal v. Quilligan</em>, asks on camera at one point in the film, nearly 40 years after her sterilization at LA County General. &quot;I always keep these questions with me, and I never get those answers,&quot; she says.</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2016/01/31/464596760/in-no-m-s-beb-s-a-perfect-storm-led-to-unwanted-sterilizations-for-many-latinas?ft=nprml&amp;f=464596760"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></div><div class="tags" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 44px 130px; padding: 0px 15px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: 14px; line-height: 14px; font-family: 'Gotham SSm', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; overflow: hidden; max-width: 680px; position: relative; float: none; width: auto; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">&nbsp;</div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 02 Feb 2016 12:01:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/film-portrays-perfect-storm-led-unwanted-sterilizations-many-latinas-114675 Jessie Mueller scores in B'way debut; local troupes move north http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-12-13/jessie-mueller-scores-bway-debut-local-troupes-move-north-94858 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2011-December/2011-12-13/AP111211064956.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/blog/insert-image/2011-December/2011-12-13/AP111211064956.jpg" style="margin-right: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: left; width: 266px; height: 400px; " title="Mueller on opening night. (AP/Charles Sykes)">“It’s an ill wind that blows no one good,” goes the old proverb. While the breezes were rather chilly concerning the Broadway revival of <em>On A Clear Day You Can See Forever</em>, they shifted to southerly and warm for Jessie Mueller, the Chicagoan making her Broadway debut in the show. That’s another way of saying the critics generally panned the show, but had only praise for Mueller, in what appears to be a star-making role for her.</p><p>The odd 1965 musical by Alan Jay Lerner and Burton Lane—about past-life regression, hypnosis and reincarnation—opened Sunday (December 11) at the St. James Theatre on the Great White Way to mixed-to-negative reviews for the total show and definitely negative notices for star Harry Connick, Jr. (stiff, wooden and uncomfortable, they said). However, Mueller was singled out as a ray of sunshine in the leading female role, a 1940’s singer named Melinda.</p><p>“Mueller combines period vocal technique with natural, uninflected charisma and an on-stage relaxation not often seen outside of Chi-town,” <a href="http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2011/12/theater-review-on-a-clear-day.html">said <em>New York Magazine</em>&nbsp;reviwer Scott Brown</a>. “Her voice contains notes of Garland, but she’s no diva—this is a star of supreme self-possession, one who doesn’t need to blind us to impress us.”</p><p>In <a href="http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117946735?refcatid=33&amp;printerfriendly=true"><em>Variety</em>, Steve Suskin wrote</a>, “The main items of interest in this misguided affair are the performances of the split-in-two heroine. Jessie Mueller, as the glamorous Melinda, is a find; the character has been transformed into a 1943 jazz singer, and Mueller handles this extremely well when given a chance . . . .”</p><p>In the influential <a href="http://www.newsday.com/entertainment/theater/on-a-clear-day-reincarnated-nicely-1.3382599"><em>Newsday</em>, Linda Winer said</a>, “It helps credibility that Jessie Mueller . . . happens to be pretty irresistible, too. Mueller, a Chicago talent in her Broadway debut, has a forthright, confident rhythm that suggests a young Liza Minelli but a delicate, deliciously precise sound all her own.”</p><p>Even Ben Brantley, in the all-powerful<em> <a href="http://theater.nytimes.com/2011/12/12/theater/reviews/on-a-clear-day-you-can-see-forever-at-st-james-review.html?hpw">New York Times</a></em><a href="http://theater.nytimes.com/2011/12/12/theater/reviews/on-a-clear-day-you-can-see-forever-at-st-james-review.html?hpw">, said that</a> “Ms. Mueller, who has a fetching affinity for swing-era song stylings, comes off better. (Her version of ‘Ev’ry Night at Seven’ . . . is the show’s high point.)”</p><p>If the show runs for even a few months, perhaps limping into the spring on the strength of Harry Connick, Jr.’s drawing power and a few mixed-to-positive reviews, Jessie Mueller might find herself with a Tony Award nomination in her Broadway debut; but the shorter the run the less likely that will be. Whatever the fate of the show, however, Mueller comes out smelling like a rose in what the industry likes to call “a break-out performance.” The big and bright future for Ms. Mueller, predicted long-ago here in Chicago, certainly is upon her.</p><p><strong>I can’t name names just yet</strong>, but look for an announcement early in the new year about a major move by a stalwart Off-Loop theater company. The North Side troupe has had landlord problems for a long time, despite nearly 20 years of residency in its current location. Fortunately, the company has identified a larger, better venue in the same extended neighborhood and will be making the move official shortly after January 1. The troupe expects to open a show in the new space in mid-winter.</p><p>Teatro Luna, the 10-year old collective of Latina writers and performers, also is making a North Side move. The company has been without a permanent home since giving up its Pilsen storefront at least five years ago. As an itinerant company, they’ve played venues in Little Village and The Loop as well as several on the North Side. Now the company has signed a five-year lease for the Live Bait space at 3912 N. Clark Street, previously occupied by The Artistic Home (and, of course, Live Bait before that). The double storefront space has two theaters, which will give Teatro Luna opportunities to sublet one or both theaters when they aren’t producing themselves. The current Teatro Luna show, <em>Crossed</em>, is playing at The Viaduct through Dec. 18. The</p></p> Tue, 13 Dec 2011 16:10:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-12-13/jessie-mueller-scores-bway-debut-local-troupes-move-north-94858 Report: Breastfeeding in Illinois hinges partly on race, income http://www.wbez.org/story/report-breastfeeding-illinois-hinges-partly-race-income-85662 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-April/2011-04-25/breastfeeding.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Almost half of African-American mothers in Illinois never breastfeed their newborns, according to a report by state and university researchers and a nonprofit group called HealthConnect One.</p> <p> Among new black mothers in 2008, about 45 percent did not start breastfeeding their infants, according to the report, “<a href="http://www.ilbreastfeedingblueprint.org/">Illinois Breastfeeding Blueprint: A Plan for Change</a>.” That figure compares to 21 percent for whites, 14 percent for Latinas and 3 percent for Asian-Americans.</p> <p> The report also shows income disparities. The rate of low-income white mothers in the state who never started breastfeeding babies born in 2008 was 36 percent.</p> <p> “Hospitals should be doing more to encourage breastfeeding,” said University of Illinois at Chicago epidemiologist Deborah Rosenberg, who analyzed data for the report.</p> <p> Looking at all new Illinois mothers, the report says the number who did start breastfeeding was almost 78 percent by 2008 — up about 8 percent from 2000. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has set a national goal of almost 82 percent by 2020.</p> <p> Starting breastfeeding does not mean keeping at it. Twelve weeks after giving birth, just 47 percent of Illinois mothers were breastfeeding, according to the report. Of those, almost half were not breastfeeding exclusively.</p> <p> “Many women go back to work then,” Rosenberg said. “It means that employers need to be supportive of breastfeeding.”</p> <p> Rosenberg said resources for lactation consultants and peer counselors are also falling short.</p> <p> HealthConnect One, based in Chicago, published the report Monday in collaboration with the Illinois Department of Human Services and the University of Illinois at Chicago’s School of Public Health.</p> <p> Next month the group and its partners plan to begin formulating a five-year action plan for hospitals, government agencies, employers, insurers and community groups.</p> <p> <a href="http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/topics/breastfeeding/calltoactiontosupportbreastfeeding.pdf"> Federal health officials</a> say breastfeeding helps babies avoid obesity, infections and chronic diseases. The <a href="http://www.aap.org/advocacy/releases/feb05breastfeeding.htm">American Academy of Pediatrics</a> recommends exclusive breastfeeding for six months.</p></p> Tue, 26 Apr 2011 22:44:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/report-breastfeeding-illinois-hinges-partly-race-income-85662