On October 12, 1973, Dolores Madrigal arrived at the University of Southern California-Los Angeles (USC-LA) Medical Center to give birth to her second child. She would later report that while she was in labor and under medication, staff members from the medical center coerced her into giving consent to an operation. These doctors explained that they had to perform this operation, (mis)informing her that she would die if she became pregnant too soon after the birth of her child (Madrigal 41-42). Because of the advice she received and her distressed state due to labor pains, Madrigal signed a “consent to sterilize” form written in English, even though Spanish was her primary language, and received a tubal ligation – a virtually permanent sterilization procedure in which the fallopian tubes are cut and cauterized. Madrigal maintained that when she received this operation, “No one at the Medical Center informed me that a tubal ligation operation was going to be performed on me. No one at the Medical Center informed me of what tubal ligation operation consists nor of its permanent effects” (49).
Serena Sebring - last update: November 30, 2007
Enoch, Jessica. 2005. “Survival Stories: Feminist Historiographic Approaches to Chicana Rhetorics of Sterilization Abuse.” Rhetoric Society Quarterly (Summer 2005). pg. 1