July 31, 2017 2:41 pm
Updated: July 31, 2017 2:43 pm

National review urged over coerced sterilization of Indigenous women

A report last week outlined how Indigenous women from Saskatoon and surrounding areas were coerced into having their fallopian tubes clamped or severed while in labour.

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OTTAWA – Two researchers who documented unwanted tubal ligations and “inherent racism” experienced by Indigenous women navigating the health-care system in Saskatoon say a national review is needed to determine if other Aboriginal women have experienced similar trauma.

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Yvonne Boyer, a lawyer and a Canada Research Chair at Manitoba’s Brandon University, and Dr. Judith Bartlett, a physician and researcher, released a report last week outlining how Indigenous women from Saskatoon and surrounding areas were coerced into having their fallopian tubes clamped or severed.

READ MORE: Saskatoon Health Region failed Indigenous women, report into unwanted tubal ligation finds

The report says most of the women did not understand that the procedure was permanent, noting they thought it was a form of birth control that could be reversed.

In response, the Saskatoon Health Authority says it deeply regrets what happened and acknowledges it failed to treat the women with the respect, compassion and support they deserve.

WATCH: Indigenous women say they were pressured into having a sterilization procedure in Saskatoon

Boyer says the experience of the women in Saskatchewan is “not an isolated incident,” adding Indigenous Peoples have experienced discrimination all over the country, including in accessing health services.

Bartlett also says the Indigenous women interviewed for the report want a national review.

© 2017 The Canadian Press

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