Quebec study confirms practice of forced sterilizations of Indigenous women

MONTREAL — A report released today confirms 22 cases of forced sterilization of First Nations and Inuit women in Quebec since 1980 and calls for the practice to end.

The study says that several participants did not realize they had been sterilized until years after the procedure when they sought treatment for fertility issues.

The majority of the participants did not sign a form consenting to sterilization, and those who did said the information they received from medical staff was not clear about the procedure’s impact on their ability to have children.

The report says the most recent example of imposed sterilization was in 2019 and concludes there is an “obvious presence” of systemic racism in Quebec.

The study calls on the Quebec College of Physicians to immediately end the practice and also demands action from the provincial and federal governments.

The study by researchers at Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue is the first in Quebec to document the forced sterilization of First Nations and Inuit women.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 24, 2022.

This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

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