Disabled Australian women face forced sterilisation, abortion and contraception, health groups say

Australian women with disabilities face “reproductive violence”, including forced sterilisations, abortions and contraception, an inquiry will hear.

Organisations set to give evidence to the Senate inquiry into universal access to reproductive healthcare on Friday have said in their submissions that carers and a discriminatory healthcare system are violating women’s rights.

Forced sterilisation is not prohibited in Australia, while women with disabilities are vulnerable to family violence including being forced to have abortions or use contraception.

The Victorian Women’s Health Services Network said women with disabilities were “refused the right to consent to medical treatment including abortion, and are more likely to experience reproductive coercion than women without disabilities”.