A medical provider may invoke a legal provision called “conscientious objection” if they, the health care provider, does not agree to the procedure being performed and can be extended to include such things as dispensing birth control and other medication. The argument in favor of such policies are that these regulations are created to discourage irresponsible behavior, such as unwanted pregnancies. In the case of voluntary sterilization, these rules are in place to protect women and prevent the self-mutilation of women’s bodies. Ultimately, it is the provider’s fundamental right whether or not they want to give access to medical services to the women of their community.
A women’s rights to make decision for her own health and her reproductive life are often in conflict with male dominated societies that are influence through religious and patriarchal viewpoints. To allow the beliefs of healthcare providers to impose their desires upon their patients is ethically questionable. The full citizenship of women in countries that invoke conscientious objection should be called into question as their reproductive rights are frequently violated.
This article shows the blatant disregard for women in Chile without the stigma of HIV and speaks to the activism involving women to stand up to the status quo which is primarily male dominated.