Degree Year


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Latin American Studies


Pablo Mitchell
Wendy Kozol

Committee Member(s)

Steven Volk, Chair


Gardasil, HPV, Human papillomavirus, Immigrant women, Immigrant rights, Reproductive justice


When the HPV vaccine, Gardasil, first entered the U.S. market in 2006, its groundbreaking promise to prevent cervical cancer and its status as a costly, gender-specific drug captured the nation's attention. Two years later, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began to require the HPV vaccine from immigrant women and girls as part of the naturalization process. In stark contrast to the journalistic stir that Gardasil provoked, the new immigration requirement went unnoticed until the National Coalition for Immigrant Women's Rights (NCIW) called it to attention. I examine the discursive practices and sociohistorical contexts that enabled the problematic requirement, as well as the policy advocacy strategies that eventually sparked its revocation. Ultimately, my project is a testament to the power of a grassroots reproductive justice movement to call attention to institutionalized discrimination and effect social change.