Selections from the Human Rights Watch International Film Festival
A Quiet Inquisition
dirs. Alessandra Zeka, Holen Sabrina Kahn, USA, 2014, digital, 65 min.
(Introduced by Shekeya Watkins, IHP Alumni Releations)
At a public hospital in Nicaragua, OB GYN Dr.Carla Cerrato must choose between following a law that bans all abortions and endangers her patients or taking a risk and providing the care that she knows can save a woman’s life. In 2007, Dr. Cerrato’s daily routine took a detour. The newly elected government of Daniel Ortega, a former Marxist revolutionary who converted to Catholicism to win votes, overturned a 130-yearold law protecting therapeutic abortion. The new law entirely prohibits abortion, even in cases of rape, incest, or when a woman’s life is at stake. As Carla and her colleagues navigate this dangerous dilemma, the impact of this law emerges – illuminating the tangible reality of prohibition against the backdrop of a political, religious, and historically complex national identity. The emotional core of the story – the experiences and situations of the young women and girls who are seeking care – illustrate the ethical implications of one doctor’s response.