I think it’s really important for doulas, and activists, and birth workers to understand the social and political context of pregnancy and birth in the US. Clearly, I think it’s so important that I wrote a book about it.
A big piece of this history is understanding how the fertility of women of color, and low-income women, and immigrants, and those who are mentally-ill or incarcerated has been manipulated by government institutions, including hospitals.
I recently interviewed the director of a new documentary about one of these instances, where Latina immigrant women in a teaching hospital in Los Angeles were sterilized after c-sections without their full and proper consent. It’s a really heart-wrenching story, but also one of resilience and successful pushback–laws mandating informed consent for tubal ligations arose as a direct result of this situation.
You can read the full interview with the director over at Colorlines.