Forced and coerced sterilizations for HIV-positive women in Chile

For anyone who seriously believes Chile is a model democracy, consider this shocker: The Chilean government does not and never has trusted women to make their own reproductive health decisions. It places the matter in the hands of doctors, who often arbitrarily decide to sterilize HIV-positive women against their will. And the Chilean government, which has the power to compel these doctors to stop, does not do so.

What these women need is support and information on how to better look after themselves and their babies. What they get is threats: that their children will be taken from them and placed for adoption. It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that they don’t get adequate medical care for their infections, either. And the risk of infection with any surgery is greater than if there had been none at all; sterilization is no exception. In the case of a woman with HIV/AIDS, the risk is greater still; if she is already exhibiting signs of immune suppression, she is in danger. Apparently none of that matters to the doctors who do these unwanted procedures.

Happy World AIDS Day.

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1 Response to Forced and coerced sterilizations for HIV-positive women in Chile

  1. Slave Revolt says:

    Squalid. The neoliberal model mirrors the naturalized patterns of continuing oppression. And, indeed, you can bet that income bears strongly on how women and men afflicted with the virus deal with this problem.

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