South Africa’s forced sterilisation shame

2014-06-08 09:00

A battle for compensation is on for 22 HIV-positive women who were sterilised without their consent or were pressured into signing consent forms allowing state doctors to render them unable to have children.

The women were sterilised between 1996 and 2011 in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, and now want provincial health departments to compensate them for their trauma.

Most of the procedures took place in the late 1990s and early 2000s at the height of the Aids pandemic, a time when antiretroviral drugs were expensive and were only made available to private patients. Aids-related deaths were skyrocketing.

Some of the women City Press spoke to say hospital doctors ordered them to sign consent forms while they were in labour or while being wheeled to theatre for Caesarean sections.

Others say doctors coerced them into accepting sterilisation before they would allow them other treatments, such as Caesareans or abortions.

» Get City Press newspaper today for more on our investigation.

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