After winning a settlement that opened the door for thousands of women to initiate malpractice lawsuits against Dalkon Shield, the IUD that caused my sterilization, I naively thought we had seen the end of sterilization atrocities. Unfortunately, that is not so, at least in California.
Modern Mississippi freedom fighters must remain committed to Hamer’s legacy of bridging voting and reproductive rights into a comprehensive reproductive justice effort to protect Black women and other populations that are vulnerable to violations of both.
The willingness of courts to impose the kind of restrictions at issue in this case should raise some serious concerns for reproductive rights activists.
The Medicaid sterilization consent rules require a minimum 30-day waiting period to get individuals’ written informed consent prior to sterilization—a critical step in helping underserved women to obtain true reproductive justice, which remains an elusive goal.
What is often lost in Black History Month are the contributions of Black women and the present-day concerns of all Black people in the United States.
A judgment by the high court in Namibia in favor of three women who claimed they had been sterilized without their informed consent confirms the principle that in order for consent to be truly “informed,” it must be freely given and clearly understood.
Weekly global repro roundup: Foreign Policy’s “Sex Issue” has hits and misses; Uzbek Government is accused of “sterilization quotas”; women and girls in UK still vulnerable to female genital cutting; Muslim women in India envision a new marriage law.
Activists fighting on behalf of access to high-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare are watching Namibia’s courts to see if good precedent will be set on forced sterilization.
Forced sterilization of any woman, regardless of her HIV status, is not just an unfortunate biproduct of medical arrogance- it is a violation of every woman’s fundamental human right to sexual and reproductive autonomy.
For Namibian HIV positive women who need to access health services for their survival, hospitals should be a place of safety, not stigma, coercion, or forced sterilization.