A group of Indigenous women are asking judicial permission to bring a class action lawsuit against the Province of Saskatchewan, as well as specific health regions and doctors. Plaintiffs are alleging that they experienced coerced sterilization. They claim that doctors did not provide enough information or obtain proper consent for the procedures.
Complainant stories further detail the situations and, if shown to be factual, show that many of the woman were repeat victims of racism towards Native North Americans. An Anishinaabe lawsuit participant, who was a victim of a Sixties Scoop, says that she was sterilized after an emergency C-section. She says her consent was given after the hospital provided her with opioids and as she was being rushed into the surgery. She also alleges that the hospital told her that the procedure was reversible. The World Health Organization (WHO) holds that female sterilization should not be considered a reversible procedure.
The Saskatoon Health Region has previously apologized for sterilization associated with a tubal ligation policy and the policy has been reversed. However, the women maintain that their suffering is ongoing and are looking for $7 million dollars in damages each.
More information regarding the lawsuit can be found and the history of forced sterilization in Saskatchewan can be found:
This blog post was written by a CCLA-PBSC RightsWatch student. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCLA or PBSC.