A poor but proud couple from the rural South learns the lasting dangers of a moment's forbidden pleasure in this drama. John Lloyd (Boyce Brown) and his wife Liza (Marjory Morris) are a young couple who are taking care of a baby while still working out the troubles faced by all newlyweds; their circumstances are not helped by the fact they're living with Liza's parents, John's new business in raising chickens has yet to pay off, and Liza has just learned she's expecting another child. One afternoon after a quarrel with Liza, John stops at a roadhouse and has a few beers too many; he ends up spending part of the evening with Nell (Paula Haygood), a waitress, but after this brief indiscretion he returns home to Liza determined to be a better husband. However, a few days after their encounter, Nell learns she has syphilis, and doesn't know how to find John and tell him the unfortunate news. As Liza neglects her prenatal medical checkups, it's not until the county health department begins establishing diagnostic blood testing for low-income families that John and Liza learn that their health is in peril, as well as that of their unborn child. Birthright was produced as an educational feature by Columbia University and the Georgia Department of Health, using a cast of non-professional actors; later, a road-show distributor spiced it up with a brief nude scene and footage of a human childbirth (purchased from an educational film company) and booked it into grindhouses and drive-ins as an exploitation item, though the expanded film still clocked in at less than an hour.
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