First Nations women forced to be sterilized before they could see newborns
Sixty Indigenous women are filing a class-action lawsuit alleging forced sterilizations over the past nearly three decades, According to a CBC radio report.
A large group of Indigenous women are seeking a class-action lawsuit for alleged forced sterilizations that took place over the past twenty-five years in Saskatchewan. The women are each claiming 7 million dollars in damages.
According to the report, the sterilizations occurred as early as 2017, and the women are alleging they were told the procedure was reversible according to Alisa Lombard, who works with Maurice Law, the first indigenous owned law firm in Canada.
"In the throes of labor ... they would be approached, harassed, coerced into signing these consent forms," Lombard said in the written article. Lombard also told the CBC that women could not leave until they agreed to have their tubes tied, cut or cauterized. Lombard added that “they could not see their baby until they agreed.”
In the CBC radio program titled “The Current” with Anna Maria Tremonti, Tremonti states that the show requested an interview with Federal Minister of Indigenous Services, Jane Philpott. Tremonti said on the program, that Philpott could not come to the show, but said Philpott was on the record stating forced sterilizations were a “very serious violation of human rights.”
According to the article written by Padraig Moran, there was an independent review on the forced sterilizations and that Jackie Mann, the vice-president of integrated health services for the Saskatoon Health Region apologized. Mann said in the article, which was from a press conference on July 27, 2017: “I want to apologize to the women who came forward in the review … I am truly sorry for the coercion for tubal ligation that you experienced while in our care."
A sound clip from the radio program at the top of the program is from an Indigenous woman who is currently involved in the lawsuit. The woman -- who says she trusted the medical professionals who had assured her the procedure was reversible -- shares her situation in the audio clip:
“When I learnt that there was zero chance of me having children … I felt violated as a woman, because a woman’s ability to have children is a huge part of their identity.”
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