Abortion Supervisory Committee,
Dear Ms Cole
Re: Sterilisation of Women
It is noted that at the recent hearing before the Justice and Law Reform Parliamentary Select Committee that Dame Holloway expressed concern that the number of publicly-funded tubal ligations for long term contraception was decreasing.
Right to Life is committed to upholding the dignity of women and promoting their health and welfare. We are therefore opposed to the sterilisation of women by tubal ligation for the following reasons.
- It undermines the nature and purpose of marriage and sexuality. It goes against the dignity of sexual relations as intended by our Creator. It prevents the total gift of self because it excludes the potential for fertility.
- Tubal ligation is the mutilation of a woman’s body and a violation of her human rights. Women have a right to the protection of the State.
- Tubal ligation is an assault on the integrity of a woman’s body.
- It is bad medicine, pregnancy is not a disease. There is no disease for which ligation would be a treatment. It is a medical procedure which is intended to destroy healthy organs.
The female reproductive organs are not just for reproduction; they are an essential part of any woman’s body and interact with brain chemistry and other hormones. One of the most common side effects of female surgical sterilisation is Post Tubal Ligation Syndrome [PTLS] caused by a lack of blood flow to the fallopian tubes, which in turn may cause an interruption in progesterone levels . Symptoms of PTLS include loss of libido, weight gain, depression, anxiety, chronic fatigue, heavy clotting during menstrual periods, mood swings, hair loss and severe pre-menstrual syndrome.
Women who have a tubal ligation increase the risk of an ectopic pregnancy seven fold.
Our Society shares your desire to see a reduction in the number of children killed in the womb. We don’t however believe that the mutilation of a woman’s fallopian tubes is an acceptable practice. Our Society believes that your Committee’s support for tubal ligation raises several important questions:
- Does the Committee believe that it has a statutory duty to encourage women to seek a tubal ligation?
- What action does the Committee take to encourage women to seek a tubal ligation?
In conclusion our Society respectfully requests that your Committee, in the interest of the health and welfare of women, reconsiders its support for tubal ligation.