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Britney Spears’ forced IUD is a chilling example of threats to reproductive freedom

Let’s say there’s a woman, 39, who has worked diligently – in the form of sold-out shows – for the past decade. She already has two teenage sons, and she and her longtime partner have talked about trying to have another baby, but they can’t because the woman has a birth control device implanted in her body that she has. she is not allowed to withdraw. If this sounds strange to you, you might understand why the recent revelation that under her tutelage Britney Spears was not allowed to have her IUD removed has sparked so much outrage.

“I want to be able to get married and have a baby,” Spears said Wednesday in a public plea to be released from the legal and financial control of a team including her father, Jamie Spears. “I was told at this time in the guardianship that I could not get married or have a baby.” Spears told the court that she asked for the IUD to be removed “so I can start trying to have another baby, but this so-called team won’t let me go to the doctor to have it removed because they don’t want me. have … more children.

Many have rushed to condemn Spears’ Tories following his testimony, including Planned Parenthood President Alexis McGill Johnson:

While Spears’ case is unique given her international stardom, it’s hard to hear her talk about the ban on expanding her family without thinking of other examples of limited female reproductive options. Forced contraception has a long and dark history around the world, a recent example being the Chinese government’s use of IUDs, sterilization and abortion to reduce birth rates among Uyghurs (a Central Asian ethnic group and eastern) and other minorities. However, anyone who is content to think that contraception or forced sterilization is a scourge happening far from the United States would do well to examine the case of Dawn Wooten, a Georgian nurse working in an ICE detention center who filed a complaint in 2020 over the high number of hysterectomies performed on immigrants.

Reproductive rights are often discussed only in the context of abortion, and as the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments over a major new restriction on abortion rights in Mississippi, these conversations are more important than ever. Nonetheless, one of the most important rights still frequently denied to women in the United States is the right to parenthood, whether through contraception (as in Spears’ case) or family separation at the border and at the border. within the American prison system.

“I deserve to have the same rights as everyone else, having a child, a family, any of those things,” Spears said in her testimony, and it’s hard to imagine how an adult who can enduring the pressure to make a residency in Vegas would be deemed unfit to control one’s own reproductive future. Hopefully Spears’ ordeal will open a much needed dialogue about who we find worthy of having ownership of their bodies and their lives.


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