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As a post-colonial nation, the United States of America has denounced the attitudes of blatant racism and discrimination against marginalized groups. However, racism is deeply embedded within the laws and organizations of the country. This phenomenon is called institutional or systemic racism and manifests discrimination in almost all public and private sectors of society, including employment, housing, healthcare and education. Because these attitudes and procedures are so ingrained in our society, it is very difficult to identify certain policies as being racist or discriminatory, and therefore it is even more difficult to change these harmful practices. This research will examine the impact of systemic racism within United States healthcare practices, and the many instances in which fundamental human and reproductive rights have been violated by forced and involuntary sterilizations of Latino individuals. The practice of forced sterilization as a means of population control has been repeated many times throughout the history of this nation, from the 19th century up to the present day. This issue is examined in the documentaries, Rosie Perez’s Yo soy Boricua Pa’ que tú lo sepas, Michelle Ferrari’s The Eugenics Crusade, and Rene Tajima-Peña’s No más bebés. These practices and the mindsets behind them are unethical and preventable. As the United States continues to progress, nation legislation must be put into place to prevent this discrimination and racism.

Publication Date



Logan, UT


racism, reproductive rights, Latino community, forced sterilization


Spanish and Portuguese Language and Literature

Reproductive Rights Are Human Rights! Forced Sterilization of Latino Communities and the Long Histroy of Human Rights Violations in the United States