Indigenous women in Canada forcibly sterilized without their consent
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Indigenous women in Canada say they were sterilized without their consent

sterilized without consent

60 indigenous women have joined a class action lawsuit in Canada alleging they were coerced into sterilization, even threatened if they did not comply — and human rights groups are calling for justice. Amnesty International (which, ironically, is pro-abortion), has joined the fight, announcing its plan to lobby the UN committee against torture in an effort to force the Canadian government to take action.

The first four women came forward in Saskatchewan in 2015, but some cases are believed to have taken place as recently as 2017, indicating this problem is ongoing. And it is likely far more widespread than currently believed. “If it’s happened in Saskatoon, it has happened in Regina, it’s happened in Winnipeg, it’s happened where there’s a high population of indigenous women,” said Senator Yvonne Boyer, an indigenous lawyer. “I’ve had many women contact me from across the country and ask me for help.”

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“Ultimately, this is about women who are supposed to have the right to make decisions about their bodies, having that right taken away from them,” Jacqueline Hansen, Major Campaigns and Women’s Rights Campaigner for Amnesty International Canada, said.

The women say they were sterilized in public hospitals without their consent, or that they were pressured and harassed into signing consent forms while they were in active labor or on the operating table. Others said they never signed a consent form at all, or would revoke their consent later. Still others said they were told they would not be allowed to see their newborn children until they allowed the procedure to take place.

“These women and their communities have suffered. They have suffered. And they are entitled to restitution as they essentially relive their trauma,” Alisa Lombard, the lawyer representing the women, said.

This is rightly being described as a gross violation of human rights by indigenous communities in Canada. “It is wrong, it is immoral, it is a gross violation of human rights, and this dehumanizing practice must stop,” said Perry Bellegarde, the national chief of the Assembly of First Nations.

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According to Hansen, this takes place in countries around the world. “It’s always done for a very specific reason. It is clear that it’s been linked to policies around wanting to ensure a group of people doesn’t reproduce,” she said.

Similar attitudes can likewise be seen in Africa, where western organizations engage in de facto colonization, pushing long-acting birth control, sterilization, and abortion on African women, despite the strong pro-life culture there. As Hansen said, it’s for a simple and disturbing reason: eugenics, and wanting to keep people they view as “less than” from having children.

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