Forced Sterilisation: Where are the Feminists When Women Need Them?
American readers will know something about the mass sterilisation programs that took place in the States in the first half of the twentieth century. Today we have yet more evidence that society is 'regressing', rather than 'progressing'. We are, apparently, 'privileged' to receive this information in our media from the Court of Protection, who have deigned to allow an 'open hearing' of this case because of the importance it has for the public interest. Thank Heaven for small mercies...I think we deserve to know about this!
The Telegraph reports today...
The secretive Court of Protection will rule on the woman’s case on Tuesday, in a rare open hearing scheduled because of the overwhelming “public interest” in understanding the case. She is due to give birth by caesarean section on Wednesday and could undergo an operation to sterilise her at the same time, if the court agrees.
Disability campaigners described the prospect of such a “drastic” step as “quite wrong”. The woman will be represented by the official solicitor, a government lawyer who represents those who cannot instruct their own legal team because they lack capacity. The patient’s local NHS trust and council have made an application to the Court of Protection to decide whether she lacks the capacity to make decisions about contraception for herself - and if so, whether she should be sterilised by means of “tubal ligation”.
For full story click here...
Pray for the judge (I don't know if the Court of Protection actually has a 'jury'] and for the woman involved. Isn't it odd that such a decision, of such momentous importance to this woman and to women across the United Kingdom is left in the hands of a single, powerful Court or a single, seemingly all-powerful judge, rather than in the hands of those elected to serve the nation in making just laws that should protect the vulnerable? Will anything at all be raised about this horror in Parliament? Still, if you want to blame anyone, they gave the Court of Protection these powers. They must have known what was coming...
There has been, at least, some good news today in the same publication concerning the ruling from another Court, this time the High Court, where the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) lost its case asking for a liberalisation of the law, in order to allow the second dose of tablets for an early medical abortion (EMA) to be self-administered in the home.
For those not already throwing up their breakfasts, lunches or dinners from the previous post, you might want to read about 'tubal ligation'. Wikipedia tells us that...
'Tubal ligation or tubectomy (informally known as getting one's "tubes tied") is a form of female sterilization, in which the fallopian tubes are severed and sealed or "pinched shut", in order to prevent fertilization.'
It does, apparently, come with a bit of a risk.
'In industrialized nations mortality is 4 per 100,000 tubal ligations'.
Outside odds, but you've far more chance of dying during this procedure than you have of winning the lottery. All in all, not a procedure one would necessarily choose and definitely not one anyone would wish to visit upon another person forcibly unless one were a wicked, Nazi, social worker. Perhaps this is one reason why some in the Government would really like to withdraw from the Human Rights Act. If she loses the case, I would imagine there are some good human rights lawyers out there willing to take her case to European Court of Human Rights. How much does Cherie Booth QC cost nowadays?
The question Tina Beattie might want to consider today is, 'Where are all the feminists when women really need them?' Come on Tina love, here's a chance to smash the patriarchy and stand up for women's rights!