WJP was honored to participate in a May 20, 2021 virtual panel discussion following a private screening of “Belly of the Beast,” a documentary film produced and directed by Erika Cohn that exposes the pattern of non-consensual illegal sterilizations in women’s prisons.
This event was hosted by the National Association of Women Judges – New York Chapter in partnership with Queens County Women’s Bar Association, Latino Judges Association, Franklin H. Williams Judicial Commission, Judicial Friends Association, and the Gender Fairness Committee for Supreme Court, Criminal Court and Civil Court for Queens County.
The panel was moderated by the Honorable Sally E. Unger. Panelists included:
Miyhosi Benton, WJP Associate Director of Advocacy & Strategy
Sharon White-Harrigan, WJP Strategic Consultant and Executive Director of Women’s Community Justice Association
Dr. Carolyn Sufrin, Director of Advocacy & Research on Reproductive Wellness of Incarcerated People at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
“It IS possible to give consent to medical procedures in a carceral environment, but in order to do so, there must be access to accurate, unbiased information about the procedure - the reasons for it and the risks associated with it – as well as the ability to refuse the procedure without retaliation. Unfortunately, as we saw in the film, and from what we know from the lived experiences of many women and men in prison, this context is usually not provided when trying to obtain informed consent from incarcerated people.”
WJP Associate Director of Advocacy & Strategy