Stop sterilizing Indigenous women without consent

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After giving birth in a Saskatchewan hospital in 2001, a doctor performed a tubal ligation on 29-year-old *Lisa, leaving her unable to have more children. She does not remember signing a consent form, but remembers her upset husband saying, “I’m not signing that!” to medical staff. After the surgery, the doctor said, “cut, tied and burned. There. Nothing is getting through that.”

Across Canada and as recently as 2017, Indigenous women report being forcibly or coercively sterilized. Some women were incorrectly told the procedure is reversible. Others were separated from their babies until they consented to a tubal ligation.

Forced and coerced sterilizations of Indigenous women are a result of systemic violence and discrimination against Indigenous peoples in the provision of public services in Canada, a pattern well known and acknowledged by government. They are an assault on Indigenous women, their families, their communities, and their Nations that have already been subjected to forced assimilation through colonialism, including eugenic practices.

Sterilizing women without their free, full, and informed consent is a form of violence and torture. Measures to prevent births within ethnic or racial groups is explicitly prohibited by the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

All women have the human right to make decisions around if, when, and how to create a family. All women have a right to live free from violence and discrimination. All women have a right to health.

We ask the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, to take immediate action to end sterilizations of Indigenous women without their consent. We ask Trudeau:

  • Investigates the scope and scale of this pattern of rights violations;
  • Ensures non-repetition to make sure this practice is halted once and for all;
  • Guarantees justice and reparations for survivors and their families.

Join the movement to defend Indigenous women’s rights to dignity, health and violence-free lives. Sign and share this petition today.

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