Further to the story I reported here a couple of weeks ago, it appears that the practice of implanting the IUD or coil into women without their consent is not confined to Oaxaca. Yesterday the CIMAC news website published a story by Chantel Martínez Díaz about the death of 17 year old Perla Gacela from Tamaulipas. She died of septicemia after an IUD coil was fitted in her uterus post-partum without her consent. The following is a translated summary of the story:
Perla Gacela did not have access to contraception and last year, became pregnant at 17. After she gave birth to her son Valentín at the “Norberto Treviño Zapata” General Hospital in Ciudad Victoria (the state capital) in December 2010, the gynecologist who treated her fitted an IUD coil in her uterus without telling her or her mother. The coil caused her uterus to become infected and, as a result Perla died on 10 February 2011. Her mother has taken charge of Valentín, but still cannot pay the hospital fees her daughter incurred nor the debts related to her funeral. She is understandable very angry and upset about what happened to her daughter and called for the practice of implanting coils into patients without their permission to be stopped immediately.
Susana Collado, a gynecologist and obstetrician at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, quoted in the article, points out quite correctly that this type of behaviour by doctors is “a flagrant violation of women’s human rights” as well as contravening the Mexican Constitution, which guarantees women the liberty to make her own choices about contraception. Moreover, she says the practice “points not only to the inhuman and degrading treatment [given to the women] but also to ignorance about the use of contraception” since the IUD coil is not the only contraception available to post partum women.
According to a local NGO, Observatorio de la Mortalidad Materna (Maternal Mortality Watch), 4.2% of maternal deaths in Tamaulipas are in the 11-19 age group. This report leads me to ask how many young girls have died due to the meddling of paternalistic doctors?