Greenlandic women still receive unwanted contraceptives after 1991

France Press agency

NOS News

After 1991, doctors still placed coils in the wombs of Greenlanders without asking permission. that writes bbc Based on stories from experts through experience.

The Danish and Greenlandic governments agreed in September to investigate the unwanted status of IUDs in Inuit girls and women, the indigenous people of Greenland. A Danish podcast revealed earlier this year that some 4,500 Greenlandic girls and women had IUDs placed in the 1960s and 1970s. The Danish government wanted to reduce the population growth of Greenland.

The research on this “spiral expedition” officially covers the period from 1960 to 1991, when Greenland took over the heath from Denmark. But the women the BBC spoke to said the practice of introducing unwanted contraceptives continued in later years.

contraceptive tape

The BBC chronicles the experiences of four women who recently discovered they were carrying an IUD or other form of contraceptive in their bodies without giving their consent.

One of these women suspects that the IUD was placed without her knowledge in 2018, when she had an operation on her uterus. I found out about this only a year later, when I went to the hospital for a check-up due to severe abdominal pain.

“I was so shocked,” she said of the moment she found out. The severe abdominal pain was caused by the IUD piercing her uterus.

“tearing my cheek”

Another practitioner suspected that the IUD was placed in her uterus in the early 2000s, when she miscarried at the age of 16. She found out five years later, when she went to the doctor to have the IUD fitted. The doctors told her she already had an IUD.

“I remember tears running down my cheeks,” she told the BBC. “I told the doctors I couldn’t understand how I actually had the IUD in me. Why didn’t I remember to put it in?”

Greenland’s health minister told the BBC she was unaware that doctors had recently placed contraceptives on women without their informed consent. According to its Danish counterpart, there is no known data on when the Spiral Expedition ended. This, he says, is part of the official investigation.

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