B.C. Indigenous women forced into sterilization: lawsuit

Vancouver –

The proposed class action lawsuit accuses the government of British Columbia of “sexism and genocide” over its decades-long practice of forcing sterilization and abortion on Indigenous women.

A lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court this week says the state had a law authorizing sterilization for 40 years before it was repealed in 1973, but the process is said to have continued since then. There is

The civil lawsuit notice said the practice had a “traumatic and devastating effect” to harm Indigenous women and their communities and was intended to “eradicate” their culture.

One of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit said that shortly before undergoing a caesarean section at Campbell River Hospital in 1983, he was given papers authorizing a doctor to tie the tube for “no valid medical reason.” I’m here.

A woman now in her 60s remains traumatized after being sterilized without proper consent, can’t trust doctors, and feels guilty about the child she ‘could have had’ if she hadn’t had the surgery. He says that he felt

The lawsuit’s allegations have not been proven in court, and the state has yet to file a response to the allegations.

The lawsuit was prepared by two law firms, Cooper Regal of Alberta and Murphy Battista of BC.

In a statement announcing the lawsuit, released shortly after the lawsuit was filed, lead plaintiff Lorraine Davis said the case was about to be heard after years of silence and hold the state accountable. rice field.

“Speaking the truth to power is always difficult, but the state has to admit what happened to me and others,” Davis said. “This will never happen again.”

Another lead plaintiff in the case, Stephanie Roy, said the lawsuit was about “fundamental human rights” and the need for people to know their state’s devastated history.

Over the years, silence has hurt me and many others.My unborn child was taken from me against my will,” Roy said.

Attorney Stephen Cooper said in a statement that the case highlights Canada’s “oppressive colonial approach to indigenous peoples.”

“Forced sterilization and abortion are a shameful chapter in Canada’s past attempts to conquer and assimilate the country’s indigenous peoples,” Cooper said.

The class seeks court rulings and damages for charter violations.

This report by the Canadian Press was first published on February 24, 2023.

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