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DES: An Uncertain Legacy

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From 1941 to 1971, several million pregnant women were given DES, a synthetic estrogen prescribed to prevent miscarriages. Today, cancer and other medical problems are appearing in some of the children of women who took the drug. This documentary focuses on a young "DES daughter" who has cancer and who, with her mother, founded the first DES action group in Canada to alert the public to the drug's potential health hazards. The film puts the whole phenomenon of prescription drugs and women into historical perspective, and raises the issues of commercialism and sexism in the medical and health-care system. Today, although it is banned for use during pregnancy, DES and DES-type drugs are still used in estrogen-replacement therapy, in the "morning after" pill, as a fertility drug, and as a lactation suppressant for new mothers.

1985, 54 min 47 s

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Honorable Mention
Itinerant - National Council on Family Relations
January 1 1988, Saint-Paul - USA

Gold Apple Award
National Educational Media Network Competition
May 7 to 10 1987, Oakland - USA