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Forced Sterilization? Violation of Rights or Necessary Sometimes?

One grandmother in the United Kingdom has asked the courts to sterilize her daughter through a tubal ligation during her upcoming c-section. While it sounds heartless of her mother to ask, the situation certainly does sound heartbreaking so I can sympathize with both sides of the story.

Her daughter, a 21 year old mentally disabled mother of one child already, who is in the grandmothers care, and pregnant again for the second time with a child who may certainly end up under the care of Grandma… Mrs. P (Grandma) has asked for the courts to order her provider to perform a Tubal Ligation during her c-section scheduled for later on in the year.

It is a very sticky issue for everyone involved. The daughter of Mrs. P clearly has issues preventing pregnancy, as well as caring for her children, but should a court force her into a surgical procedure that would eliminate her ability to have children at all?

Jeanne Sager from The Stir summed it up exactly how I feel:

It’s a terrifying scenario that goes against everything I, as a feminist, have been taught about women and reproductive freedom. And yet, I can’t help understanding where Mrs. P. stands. Because one of the chief reasons I support reproductive freedom is that a mother should not bring a child into this world who she can’t support.

The situation as a whole is heartbreaking for everyone involved, especially the children, but should this be someplace for legal action, and courts to get involved in?

What do you think?

photo: flickr.com/mikeporcenaluk

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