AYC Media Kit
At Your Cervix
At Your Cervix
At Your Cervix
At Your Cervix follows sexuality educator, activist and filmmaker A’magine on her journey to expose the unethical and often traumatic ways medical and nursing students are taught to perform pelvic exams.
“If she said ‘NO’, then you shouldn’t do it.”
– Harriet Washington- Award-winning author of Medical Apartheid
Official Trailer Media Links
“Every day, in all kinds of medical institutions, from large teaching hospitals to small clinics, patient bodies are examined and penetrated while they are unconscious without consent. The practice of using our bodies without our knowledge or consent is a longstanding one and it’s high time it be critically evaluated for what it is: Medical assault.“
– A’magine, Director/Producer, At Your Cervix
Film Stills: click to download
How is this even legal?
This is the question most people ask when they first hear about non-consensual pelvic exams under anesthesia. There is a long history in medical education of using patients to teach students. Most patients are altruistic and want to help budding doctors–but they want to be asked and have their choices respected. Unfortunately, the medical lens tends to be different–there is a certain level of entitlement to patient bodies that still hasn’t shifted entirely, although it is changing slowly.
The reality is that if there is no law on the books outlawing intimate exams on patients who are anesthetized or otherwise incapacitated, patients have no recourse. Even though in any other situation this behavior would be considered assault, within medicine, there is an idea that doctors are the authorities over the body and can do what they need to do without needing to ask patients unless there are laws and policies that explicitly state that this is not okay. Protocols need to be put in place at the institutional level for medical programs and how their students should conduct themselves, the clinics and hospitals need policies and oversight of individual doctors who might ask students to do unethical, non-consensual exams, and we need laws making it clear that this is not okay.
To date there are laws in 21 states banning this practice. Check out this map of the United States to see if there is a law in your state. If not, please work with us to get one passed. We are doing advocacy all over the U.S. until we have laws in all 50 states.
I’ve been under anesthesia. Could this have happened to me?
The answer is yes, it could have. We wish we could say that it did not, but we just don’t know. What we do know is that this has been a long-standing practice all over the U.S. and in other parts of the world and thousands, possibly millions of patients have experienced non-consensual exams while under anesthesia. Most will never know it happened because they were anesthetized. The way people tend to find out is if a student or resident speaks out.
Does this happen to men and people of other genders?
Yes, it does. We know that rectal and prostate exams are also done under anesthesia, without consent, for teaching purposes. We are advocating for laws that include people of all genders and all intimate exams because no internal exam on a patient’s most private body parts without their consent is ethical. We hope you’ll join us to get more laws passed