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Indigenous women in Greenland sue Denmark over involuntary contraception

A GROUP of Indigenous women in Greenland have sued Denmark for forcing them to be fitted with intrauterine contraceptive devices in the 1960s and ’70s, Danish media reported today.

The group of 143 Inuit women are also demanding compensation of nearly 43 million kroner (around £5 million), Danish media reported Monday.

The group say Danish health authorities violated their human rights when they fitted them with coil devices. 

Some of the women, including many who were teenagers at the time, were not aware of what happened or did not consent to the intervention.

The purpose was allegedly to limit population growth in Greenland by preventing pregnancy. 

Danish authorities say that as many as 4,500 women and girls — reportedly half of the fertile women in Greenland — received coil implants between the 1960s and mid-1970s.

“The oldest of us are over 80 years old, and therefore we cannot wait any longer,” one of the women affected, Naja Lyberth, told Greenland public broadcaster KNR. 

“As long as we live, we want to regain our self-respect and respect for our wombs.”

Greenland, part of Denmark, was a colony until 1953, after which it became a province of the Scandinavian country.


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