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It comes as Federal Disability Commissioner Graeme Innes raised concerns about the increasing number of procedures being carried out without court approval. Stella Young, editor of the ABC's disability website Ramp Up, says she was almost sterilised as a young child. "When I was four I was on holiday with my parents in Adelaide and I broke my leg while I was there and they took me to the hospital and they re-set my leg," she told PM. "One of the doctors said to them, 'while she's here we might as well do the hysterectomy', which was shocking because I was a four-year-old child. "My parents thankfully were very empowered and didn't take everything that doctors said to be gospel truth and they got me out of there as quickly as possible." While she had a lucky escape, some children and women do not.
"We know of women who have gone in as young women, taken to hospital for another procedure and been sterilised," she said. "Or been told that they're going to have their tummy fixed and then find out 20 years later that actually what happened on that day was that they got sterilised and nobody told them.
Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic
They were wives and daughters. Sisters. Unwed mothers. Children. Even a 10-year-old boy. Some were blind or mentally retarded. Toward the end they were mostly black and poor. North Carolina sterilized them all, more than 7,600 people.