Amnesty International Asks Latin American Countries to Stop Forcibly Sterilizing Women with HIV

The Amnesty International group points at the policies in Latin America and the Caribbean as those‘fueling violence against women’. It is asking the Government Authorities to decriminalize abortion and stop forcibly sterilizing women with HIV.

The health group has reported these two countries as the regions where “more than half of pregnancies are unwanted or unplanned, where there are extremely high rates of sexual violence, where the demand for contraception far outstrips availability and where cultural norms continue to give pride of place to women’s role as mothers.”

The report also says that the Government policies add fuel to this violence by not allowing the access to abortion, allowing religious groups too much influence over public health choices, and at times forcing women to make health decisions without their consent.

Amnesty has also provided an example to support its claim. The example was of a lady who found she was HIV-positive during a check-up after entering her fourth month of pregnancy with her third child. The state workers than pressurized her to undergo a sterilization procedure. Despite her refusal, they forced her mother to sign a paper authorizing the procedure. It is an irony that the person about whose life the decision was been taken, had no say. She was forced to do what the state workers wanted.

As per the victim, “It caused me a great deal of suffering, not because I wanted to have another child — I wasn’t planning on having another baby — but because it is a scar that I will carry all my life,” she said. “It wasn’t my decision. They did it to me by force.”

To top the misery, no surgeon was ready to perform a c-section on a woman with HIV until a doctor willing to perform the operation arrived at the hospital. The Hospital Staff misbehaved with her and to what Amnesty International described as “discriminatory treatment”.

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