Forced Sterilization and Abortion Class Action
Davis and Roy v HMTK (Province of British Columbia)
What is this claim about?
Murphy Battista LLP and Cooper Regal LLP have filed a proposed class action against His Majesty the King in the Right of the Province of British Columbia (the “Province”) for wilfully and knowingly failing to address the practice of coerced sterilization and abortion of Indigenous women in British Columbia that occurred between August 1, 1974 and the present.
The Claim alleges that the Province was complicit in creating an atmosphere of institutional and systemic racism in provincially-funded and regulated hospitals throughout British Columbia where coerced sterilization and abortion was implicitly and explicitly condoned, encouraged, authorized and performed by the Province and/or its agents, servants or employees.
As a result of the Province’s acts and omissions, the Claim alleges that Indigenous women were subjected to coerced sterilization and/or coerced abortion in British Columbia and have suffered physical, emotional, spiritual, mental and psychological harm. The practice of coerced sterilization and abortion has deprived Indigenous women of fundamental choices guaranteed to all Canadians with respect to reproductive capacity.
The Claim alleges that the practice of coerced sterilization and abortion has had a traumatic and destructive effect on the health, family relationships and culture of Indigenous women and Indigenous communities in British Columbia. Further, the practice was, and remains a form of sexism and genocide – a practice directed at eradicating Indigenous people and their cultures.
The plaintiffs bring the Claim on their own behalf, and on behalf of class members, to seek justice and compensation for the harms suffered as a result of the Province’s breach of Indigenous women’s trust, dignity, bodily autonomy, and reproductive and cultural rights.
Who does the class action affect?
You are a class member if you are an Indigenous Woman, in British Columbia who:
- was sterilized in a hospital in British Columbia at any time between August 1, 1974 and the present (the “Class Period”), where that sterilization was undertaken without your free, full and informed consent; or
- underwent an abortion in a hospital in British Columbia at any time during the Class Period, where that abortion was performed without your free, full and informed consent.
The Class includes all Status, non-status Indian Inuit and Métis women who qualify as a Class Member, as described above.
The Notice of Civil Claim initiating this proposed class action, was filed in the Supreme Court of British Columbia on February 22, 2023.
Read the press release: BC Forced Sterlizations.
Who are the lawyers?
This class action is being pursued by a team of lawyers at Murphy Battista LLP, led by Angela Bespflug and Caitlin Ohama-Darcus, together with a team of lawyers at Cooper Regel LLP, led by Steven Cooper, K.C., Mary Grzybowska and Jenna Broomfield.
What should I do if I have been impacted?
Please contact us by submitting the form below. A member of the legal team handling this action will contact you and you will be added to our database and kept apprised of developments.
If you have questions or would like to be included in our database of class members, you can email [email protected] or call Murphy Battista’s Vancouver office at (604) 683-9621 or Toll Free at 1-844-633-3817, and ask to speak to a member of the legal team handling the Forced Sterilization and Abortion Class Action. Reception will transfer your call to someone who can help you.
- Class-action suit filed for Indigenous women subjected to coerced sterilization – Vancouver Sun
- Lawsuit accuses B.C. government of coercing Indigenous women into sterilization – CTV News (BC)
- Lawsuit accuses B.C. government of coercing Indigenous women into sterilization – Toronto Star
- Proposed class action lawsuit says B.C. government took away Indigenous reproductive rights – CityNews Vancouver
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