Contraceptive implants for disabled Aboriginal 12-year-old girls

Quick hit, because spoons are low, but I don’t see this being discussed anywhere:

There are reports that 12-year-old girls with disabilities in rural/remote Aboriginal communities are having implants placed with questionable or non-existent consent procedures, and minimal discussion of the perpetrators of their rapes.

ABC World Today:

ANNIE GUEST: Jan Stuckey is from the Queensland Opposition. She’s told ABC Radio four girls have implants at Woorabinda Aboriginal Community, south west of Rockhampton in central Queensland.

JAN STUCKEY: One child was simply taken off to have it put in. Others were showing off, rolling up their sleeves in a Year Eight class saying “Look, look, miss, look what we’ve got”.

[…]

ANNIE GUEST: Health authorities have confirmed they are injecting under-age girls with contraceptives.

JAN STUCKEY: I’d like to say that this is not a common practice and it is only ever done in a situation where the individual is known to be having unsafe sex and is also not in a position to be responding to counselling and not in a position to make good decisions for themselves.

[h/t to Cara at Feministe for reminding me that I was going to post this, with her post on disability and reproductive justice.]



Categories: gender & feminism

Tags: , , , ,

6 replies

  1. Thanks for posting this. Maybe I’m not reading the transcript right, but it looks like the term disabled is just being deployed as a way to authorise the administration of contraceptives to any young aboriginal girl they believe might be “at risk” of having sex.

  2. Oh… ugh… this is just one of those things that makes me speechless with disgust.

  3. No!
    What gets me is that if this happened to white girls, there would be an outcry. But hey! it’s okay to treat the symptom when it comes to indigenous kids, and in “treating” it, to abuse the kids’ own autonomy.
    Deborah’s last blog post..Finished!

  4. Yes, I’m wondering about the interplay of race and disability here. My first guess is that the girls have been labelled intellectually disabled?
    But those who are using disability as an “excuse”, as though it is somehow more acceptable than racism, must surely be ignorant of the long history of disability rights activism in the reproductive justice field.
    (Which wouldn’t surprise me in the least.)

  5. I’m reminded of something Hexyhex wrote about the way aboriginal girls are typically presented as over-sexualised: by dealing with the fact that these girls are known to be having underage sex by going first and only to contraceptive measures, the authorities are dealing with this as if it is a problem of the girls’ sexual agency instead of being a problem that the girls are being abused and need protection from abuse.

  6. While this is unquestionably deplorable, it is hardly new. Depo Provera (the contraceptive injection) has been administered for decades without consent, to the poor, black and/or disabled throughout the Western world. Just as hysterectomies have been performed on mentally disabled young women, at times routinely, in this country.
    another outspoken female’s last blog post..nostaligia for the young Mr Bragg

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