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"Birthright"
L&O, Episode 16.06
Production number: 16007
First aired: 2 November 2005
  {{{nNthProducedInSeries}}}th of 456 produced in L&O  
{{{nNthReleasedInSeries}}}th of 456 released in L&O
  {{{nNthReleasedInAll}}}th of 1185 released in all  
Written By
David Slack

Directed By
Constantine Makris


Plot

When a black female murder suspect with a history of child-neglect accusations suddenly dies in holding, Dr. Rodgers discovers that the young woman had unknowingly been implanted with an IUD filled with an antimalaria drug that also happens to cause sterility in women. This leads Detectives Fontana and Green to a seemingly benevolent doctor who has been secretly sterilizing young black and Hispanic women.

Cast

Main cast

Recurring cast

Guest cast

References

Quotes

Green: No wallet, no money.
Brody: Robbery gone bad?
Green: No. If he was stabbed once or twice, that would be a robbery. Nine times...
Fontana: ...that's personal.


Fontana: You need a license to drive a car, but they'll let anyone have kids.
Green: Yeah. And you gotta be seventeen for the car.


Fontanta: Will you look at this, huh? Tailor-made. I expect to be reimbursed.
Van Buren: That is one pissed-off little girl.
Fontana: She's a juiced-up crackhead.
Van Buren: You go call your tailor and I'll take the interview.


Van Buren: First of the month, welfare day, but you didn't get a check, did you? All because Sam, the donut man, called child services after you.
Traci Sands: So? I don't need that check. And I could always have another baby.


Van Buren: She burned and scarred the uterus of a young girl with a drug that caused her death.
Borgia: Arrest her. We'll find the right charge.


Green: Do you know where she lives? We need to ask her a couple questions.
Lillie Sands: I don't care how handsome you think you are, young man, don't lie to me. I know how this goes.


McCoy: A white woman sterilizing delinquent girls because she judged them unfit to reproduce? Eugenics.
Borgia: I thought that ended in Nazi Germany.


Judge Carla Solomon: When the Nazis sent my father to Dachau, it was because people who knew it was wrong didn't get mad enough to stop it.
McCoy: Much as I would like them to, the jury shouldn't have to believe Nurse Rhodes is Josef Mengele to think that she broke the law.


Gloria Rhodes: You don't understand, Mr. McCoy. You don't see how these girls -- these children -- treat their babies. I never meant to hurt her, but I couldn't risk it. The world doesn't need another Traci Sands.
McCoy: We've found evidence that you performed at least 20 other forced sterilizations, Ms. Rhodes. What the world doesn't need is you.


McCoy: So why'd you take it, Paul? Why defend someone like Gloria Rhodes?
Robinette: I could give you reasons -- the good she's done with the clinic, innocent until proven guilty -- but tell me your job wouldn't be easier if people like Traci were never born, that the world wouldn't be a better place.
McCoy: I won't say that.
Robinette: You already did. 'Gloria Rhodes isn't Josef Mengele.' Nobody wants to admit they think she did the right thing, but if they look for it -- you look for it -- deep down, it's there. That deserves a defense.


Background information and notes

  • One of the few episodes with the former A.D.A. Paul Robinette (Season 1-3) as a defense attorney.
  • When discussing forced sterilization with his colleagues, Jack McCoy mentions a judge ordering an abusive mother to go on Norplant. Norplant is a surgically implanted contraceptive, not a form of sterilization. It is very effective in preventing pregnancy while it is in use, but it only lasts for five years, so it is not permanent. A woman who is on Norplant can have it surgically removed if she wishes and at this point she can become pregnant.
  • Not only do the dates on the title cards not correspond with days of the week in 2005, but some of them aren't even from the same year.

Episode scene cards

1 2 3

All China Foods
249 West 114th Street
Monday, September 20

PS 105
318 St. Nicholas Avenue
Tuesday, September 21

Courtland Medical Supplies
Trenton, New Jersey
Wednesday, September 22

4 5 6

Astoria Community College
Astoria, Queens
Monday, September 27

Supreme Court
Trial Part 14
Monday, October 25

Supreme Court
Trial Part 14
Monday, November 1


Previous episode:
"Life Line"
"Birthright"
Law & Order
Season 16
Next episode:
"House of Cards"
Seasons 1234567891011121314151617181920

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