67 women from a Greenlandic tribe are set to seek compensation from the Dutch government for being subjected to birth control against their will. In the 1960s, about 4,500 women, including teenage girls from the Inuit tribe in Greenland, were fitted with a contraceptive device known as a coil as part of population control. The women came forward demanding compensation of 3,00,000 kroner ($42,150) each as the ongoing investigation into the incident was nearing completion.
More details of the birth control campaign came out through a podcast released last year by Dutch broadcaster DR. Between 1966 and 1970, girls as young as 13 were implanted with uterine rings (intra-uterine devices) without their knowledge or consent.
According to the DR, the government estimates that by the end of 1969, 35 percent of women in Greenland had IUDs. A commission of inquiry appointed by the Dutch and Greenland governments into the campaign will report in May 2025.
Naja Lieberth, a psychologist who took the initiative to demand compensation, said that we cannot wait for the results of the investigation and that action should be taken now as many of the women are approaching their 80s.
Many girls have suffered serious health problems and even infertility due to the insertion of large IUDs. Lieberth said that some women, on the other hand, did not know they had the rings inserted until they were informed by gynecologists. They also accused the Dutch government of drastically reducing Greenland’s population in order to save money on welfare. It is indicated that the government will not be ready to pay compensation as the report of the commission has not come out.
English Summary: Contraceptive surgery without consent: 67 women seek compensation
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