Doña Ofelia

Doña Ofelia, in her own voice, tells us about her journey crossing the Tijuana-San Diego border between the US and Mexico in 1992 to give birth to her daughter in the United States. It is a testimony of her motivation to cross the border, her experience in an American hospital, the communities she relied on for support, and the federal policies and court decisions that affected her legal and medical rights in 1995 and beyond. Through Ofelia’s journey, we can also study present examples of protests and media reactions in California concerning contemporary immigration issues; moments in the history of the Southern US and Mexico border and the history of Mexican public hospitals; statistics regarding pregnant women of color in American hospitals; the public curiosity surrounding “birth tourism” and its racialized rhetoric; and the global phenomenon of women giving birth across borders regardless of class, race, and geographic location.