All posts by Sonia Lawrence

Coerced Sterilization

You may have already been reading / listening  about the class action lawsuit proposed against Saskatchewan (inter alia) for the coerced sterilization of Indigenous women in that province.  If not, see here (or listen).   As framed by lawyer Alisa Lombard and 2 Indigenous women claimants, the suit would claim $7m in damages per claimant, and they believe there are around twenty other women who could join the (as yet uncertified) class.  Debbie Ironbow, interviewed last year by CBC, is one of those women.  Her language below sent me back to Patricia Williams’  “The Alchemy of Race and Rights” and many other assertions about the value of legal rights:

"I think the only thing that speaks is the law," she said. "The only thing we have going for us as Indigenous women and Indigenous people is that we can go into a courtroom and we can assert an inherent right over our bodies." [Debbie Ironbow quoted in David Shield, "'It steals your dreams': Saskatoon woman not sure whether she will join forced-sterilization lawsuit" October 11 2017, CBC News Online]

An independent report was released in the summer of 2017, “Tubal Ligation in the Saskatoon Health Region: The Lived Experience of Aboriginal Women” written by lawyer Senator Dr. Yvonne Boyer and Dr. Judith Bartlett.  Afterwards, the Saskatoon Health Authority apologized for the practice of sterilization of Indigenous women without proper or informed consent.   In reading through the report and hearing about the lawsuit, I was reminded of this piece that appeared in the jotwell section i co-edit earlier in the year.  Prof. Ruthann Robson wrote, in RESISTING ATTEMPTS TO CONTROL THE “HYPER-FERTILE”, about Prof. Maya Manian’s work, The Story of Madrigal v. Quilligan: Coerced Sterilization of Mexican-American Women.  It appears in Reproductive Rights and Justice Stories (forthcoming 2019), available at SSRN.

Both Robson’s short jot and Manian’s article are well worth reading, in terms of understanding coerced sterilization and legal approaches to these violations.  Robson’s short but informative note concludes with these lines:

The story Manian ultimately tells is one of courage and resistance. As we confront renewed efforts to control the reproductive and sexual rights of immigrants, people of color, and all women, it is a story that is worth reading—and retelling.

Another place that the Saskatchewan case could take us is to the broader question of racism in health care that continues to be the experience of Indigenous people across the country.  But for those interested particularly in “coerced sterilization,” here are some recent articles from a variety of national contexts.

Donofrio, Gemma. “Exploring the Role of Lawyers in Supporting the Reproductive Justice Movement” (2018) 42 NYU Rev L & Soc Change 221.
Mohapatra, Seema. “Politically Correct Eugenics Symposium: New Approaches & Challenges to Reproductive Justice” (2016) 12 FIU L Rev 51.
Ocen, Priscilla A. “Incapacitating Motherhood” (2017) 51 UCD L Rev 2191.
Pickles, Camilla. “Involuntary contraceptive sterilisation of women in South Africa and the criminal law” (2016) 2016:2 SACJ 89, online.
Sifris, Ronli. “Involuntary Sterilization of HIV-Positive Women: An Example of Intersectional Discrimination” (2015) 37 Hum Rts Q 464.
Steele, Linda. “Court Authorised Sterilisation and Human Rights: Inequality, Discrimination and Violence against Women and Girls with Disability” (2016) 39 UNSWLJ 1002.

Active Bystander Training offered at Osgoode Monday November 19 2018 430PM

via OSPSN: The Osgoode Survivor Peer Support Network (OSPSN) will be hosting Facilitator Karlene Moore from the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre for active bystander training on MONDAY  November 19th from 4:30-5:30 pm in the Moot Court. 

All students are welcome, but 1Ls in particular are strongly encouraged to attend. There will be free refreshments provided. Let’s create a community of care at Osgoode.

Active Bystander Training pdf poster

This Friday: Camille Gear Rich: “Is it a Man’s World? A Feminist Reimagining the Right to Free Speech in the Aftermath of the Charlottesville Race Riots”

IFLS is delighted to welcome Professor Camille Gear Rich from USC this week to present her latest work: FRIDAY NOVEMBER 16 1230 in 4034 (Osgoode Hall Law School, IKB).  Please join us – we’re serving lunch! RSVP here.   ALL WELCOME.

Camille Gear Rich’s research and teaching interests include constitutional law, feminist legal theory, family law, children and the law and the First Amendment. She is the founder and director of PRISM: The USC Initiative for the Study of Race, Gender, Sexuality and the Law. She is also the founding director of Gould’s First Generation Legal Professionals program. Rich is widely known for her research on law, discrimination and identity formation issues related to race, class, gender and sexuality.

Printable PDF Poster GRich.Nov16

Follow this with our co sponsored 7PM screening at the REGENT THEATRE (MtPleasant between Davisville/Eglinton) of NETIZENS, a documentary also taking on questions of feminism and free speech, see here.

This Friday: An IFLS co sponsored Toronto Screening of NETIZENS with panel discussion to follow

We’re having a bit of a Feminists & Free Speech Friday this week, with Camille Gear Rich “Is it a Man’s World? A Feminist Reimagining the Right to Free Speech in the Aftermath of the Charlottesville Race Riots” at lunch and then Friday night, this screening & post film discussion.

"NETIZENS exposes the proliferation of cyber harassment faced by women, spreading from the web to the most intimate corners of their lives. As the internet becomes the next frontier of civil rights, this feature documentary follows three women who are targets of harassment, along with advocates, legal experts and others, as they confront digital abuse and strive for equality and justice online." [Netizens]

Friday November 16 at 7:00PM
Regent Theatre, 551 Mt Pleasant Road Tickets $15 | POMFILMFEST.com

Post Film Panel Discussion with
Lawyer Angela Chaisson (whom you may remember as last year’s IFLS grad fellow)
Actor & Activist Kamee Abrahamian
local community leader Ani Hotoyan-Joly
chaired by producer Silva Basmajian

 

Zombie Cinderella [actually, jotwell post Hallowe’en treats]

Every once in a while i send out these notes about what’s on Jotwell (their tag line: Things we like – Lots; from their mission “We are not afraid to be laudatory, nor do we give points for scoring them. Rather, we challenge ourselves and our colleagues to share their wisdom and be generous with their praise. We will be positive without apology.”). The whole mission statement is here –  consider reading it. It makes a lot of sense, on info glut/scholarship glut, scholarly communities, and on celebrating and sharing work we like.

Here are some treats over there at the moment (first link is to the Jotwell “jot” of <1000 words but Second link, where there is one, is to whole article):

From Wendy Anne Bach, HOPE: Amna Akbar, Toward a Radical Imagination of Law, 93 NYU L. Rev. __ (forthcoming, 2018), available at SSRN.

From Carole Silver:  DIVERSITY, GOLF, AND THE RULES OF THE (LEGAL CAREER) GAMBryant Garth and Joyce S. SterlingDiversity, Hierarchy, and Fit in Legal Careers: Insights from Fifteen Years of Qualitative Interviews, 31 Geo. J. Legal Ethics 123 (2018).

One of them is from me, but it’s not about me so that’s ok:   PLANNING FOR A POST NEOLIBERAL FUTURE Silvana Tapia Tapia, Feminism and Penal Expansion: The Role of Rights Based Criminal Law in Post-Neoliberal Ecuador, Feminist Legal Studies (2018).

And last but not least, Jessica Silbey: THE COSTS OF TRADEMARKING DOLLS Rebecca Curtin, Zombie Cinderella and the Undead Public Domain, 86 Tenn. L. Rev. __ (forthcoming 2018), available at SSRN.