HIV-positive African women protest forced sterilization

Friday, December 7, 2012
Charlie Butts (

HIV-positive women in five countries have filed suit over being sterilized against their will.

The countries are Kenya, Zambia, South Africa, Malawi and Namibia. OneNewsNow talked with Joseph Meaney who is in Rome with Human Life International. He points out the women are being sterilized after giving birth.

Meaney, Joseph (HLI)"And what it really shows is the kind of contempt with which some of these organizations and institutions hold women -- that while they claim to be 'pro-choice' or in favor of women's choices, in the end they're sterilizing these women without their consent because they believe they know what's better for them," he says.

An HIV-positive woman can have an HIV-free child if properly treated. But Meaney says they are being robbed of something else.

"Being able to have a child is really important. I mean it's certainly important everywhere, but culturally in Africa it's very important," he explains. "A lot of these women were actually complaining of the fact that if they hoped to get married or to lead a normal life, being told they couldn't have children was a huge, huge loss."

The situation is reminiscent of Peru in the last decade of the last century, during which indigenous women were sterilized -- either through coercion or without their consent.

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