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Unnatural Selection

Forced contraception in Greenland

In the 1960s and 1970s, thousands of ethnic Inuit girls of childbearing age (12 and upwards) in Greenland were implanted with IUDs. This was on the orders of the Danish government as part of its Danish Coil Campaign for birth control.
Nobody explained to the girls what was happening and their parents were never asked for their consent. In a short time, the measure led to the halving of the birth rate on the world’s largest island, a former Danish colony which was granted autonomy in 1979. Many of these young girls grew up suffering from serious health and fertility problems.

The first woman to describe this terrible experience was Naja Lybert, who now works as a psychologist specializing in the treatment of trauma. A few years ago, as part of her specialization, she received training that brought to light the enormous drama to which she and many other girls had been subjected during their youth. In Naja’s case an IUD was inserted without her consent when she was 12 and still a virgin. She didn’t understand what was happening when she and all the girls in her class were taken by the school to a doctor’s office for what was supposed to be a routine examination.

Not only that, she felt too ashamed to talk about it, even with her parents. Naja thus endured the pain caused by an IUD which was too big for her and she suppressed the memory of the causes of that pain.
Much later in life, when she tried to have children and consulted a gynecologist because she was unable to do so, the contraceptive IUD was removed.
However, she still could not talk about her ‘shame’ with anyone.
It was only after psychological treatment that Naja was able to come to terms with the abuse and to begin to talk about it. She also discovered that many other women of about the same age had also been subjected to ‘forced contraception.’
Naja brought these women together and they are now demanding that the Danish government explains the reason for this great injustice. They are also seeking compensation for all the years of suffering they have endured.


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