Forced sterilization occurs when the individual is sterilized without their consent or the ability to provide consent. Unlike forced sterilization, coerced sterilization occurs when incentives, misinformation or intimidation tactics compel an individual to undergo the procedure, therefore the are given a choice to do so. Forced and Coerces sterilization often affects women and those affected are from marginalized populations in their societies including but not limited to: poverty, HIV-positive, physically- and mentally- disabled women. In Chile, women living with HIV are often coerced into become sterilized. The tactic used is misinformation, telling mothers that they will transmit the virus to their child, or that they will not be full-term pregnancies that will lead to the death of their fetus. Cases of forced sterilization also exist in Chile, women reported being sterilized during routine cesarean sections without ever being asked for consent. A woman identified as Francisca reported a similar event and stated that “they treated me like I was less than a person. I was not my decision to end my fertility; they took it away from me”. By suggesting sterilization in any form is the removal of womanhood in many cultures, and victims often fail to repost the atrocities because of the shame of no longer being able to bear children or identify their status as HIV-positive. This is not only a gross violation of human rights but a violation of morals and medical ethics. It is the responsibility of governments and international organizations to prohibit these practices and ensure reproductive rights to all citizens of the world.
The author Stop Torture in Health Care uses information gathered from over 30 studies to create an argument against forced and coerced sterilization. In the case of Chile there are first hand accounts to these atrocities. The image chosen is from VIVO POSITIVO a Chilean organization that a advocates for the rights of HIV-Positive people in Chile and Latin America.
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