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
International. He points out the women are being sterilized
after giving birth.
"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
An HIV-positive woman can have an HIV-free child if properly
treated. But Meaney says they are being robbed of something
"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.
A Christian medical group is taking issue with a recommendation
for over-the-counter availability of birth-control pills.