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Guard Us All? Immigrant Women and the HPV Vaccine (encore)


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Fatima Quraishi was forced to get part of the HPV vaccine to get US citizenship.    Source: Pauline Bartolone

Fatima Quraishi was forced to get part of the HPV vaccine to get US citizenship. Source: Pauline Bartolone

Gardasil is the first cervical cancer vaccine ever developed. After it was approved in 2006, controversy has surrounded this vaccine. Its safety and effectiveness have been questioned, and the requirement that immigrant women take the vaccine has come to the forefront of both immigrant rights and reproductive justice organizing. Advocates argue that this vaccine is a new chapter in a history of reproductive oppression that targets women of color and immigrant women. On this edition, we hear from activists, doctors, attorneys and women most affected by the new vaccination.


Fatima Quraishi, Pakistani immigrant; Priscilla Huang, National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum policy and programs director; Dr. Deblina Datta, CDC division of STD Prevention; Jessica Gonzales, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health director of policy and advocacy; Loretta Ross, SisterSong founding member; Beth Stickney, Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project executive director and attorney; Woman client (name withheld for confidentiality and safety), immigrant from Chile; Nial Cox Ramirez, and Elaine Riddick Jessie, residents of North Carolina and subjects of sterilization.

This program is made possible in part by The Reproductive Justice Fund at the Tides Foundation. Special thanks to The Winston Salem Journal for use of their audio from “Against Their Will” multi-media project. Thanks to Sarah Olson for her editorial guidance.

Check out other programs on reproductive health and justice topics!

For More Information:

American Social Health Association

California Latinas for Reproductive Justice (CLRJ)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project

Judicial Watch

National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF)

National Coalition for Immigrant Women’s Rights
Contact through NAPAWF and NLIRH

National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH)

The Winston Salem Journal

For Additional Information:

Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice (ACRJ)

California Black Women’s Health Project

Center for American Progress

Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA)

Center for Individual Freedom

Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunities and Reproductive Rights (COLOR)

Expanding the Movement for Empowerment and Reproductive Justice (EMERJ)


Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF)

National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (NNIRR)

Pro-Choice Public Education Project

SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Health Collective

SPARK Reproductive Rights Now


Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)

Center for Immigration Studies : Immigrants in the United States, 2007
A Profile of America’s Foreign-Born Population

Department of Homeland Security’s Yearbook of Immigration Statistics 2007

Pro-Choice Public Education Project

Reproductive Justice Briefing Book: A Primer on Reproductive Justice and Social Change

Third Wave Foundation

Winning Reproductive Justice: Contributions to Policy Change from the
Reproductive Justice Movement

Other Articles and Books:

Think Girl blog entry on HPV vaccine

from “Global Feminisms: Comparative Case Studies of Women’s Activism and

“How Effective is the HPV Vaccine?” by Lucinda Marshall

“In Genes We Trust: When Science Bows to Racism” by Barry Mehler

“The Roots of the I.Q. Debate: Eugenics and Social Control” by Margaret Quigley

“The Sterilization of America” by Center for Individual Freedom

“Sterilized in the Name of Public Health: Race, Immigration, and Reproductive Control in Modern California” by Alexandra Minna Stern, PhD


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Author: Radio Project

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