Sterilisation and People With Disabilities – Senate Inquiry

From Women With Disabilities Australia:


The Senate Inquiry into sterilisation is a critical inquiry for all people with disabilities. It is so important that the voices of people with disabilities are heard in this Inquiry – in whatever way works for the individual and/or organisation concerned. The Terms of reference are very broad and are not just about surgical sterilisation. Among other things, the Inquiry will look into the choices people with disabilities have about:

• contraception
• whether or not to have a baby

It will also look at things like:
• What sort of information people with disabilities have access to about sexuality, relationships, their bodies;
• Whether doctors and other professionals need more training about the rights of people with disabilities to make their own decisions;
• How people with disabilities are treated differently when it comes to their reproductive rights;
• What sort of assistance people with disabilities might need to be able to manage their own reproductive health care;

It is really important that people with disabilities tell the Senate Inquiry their views on some of these issues. It doesn’t have to be a lengthy document or a formal submission. You can just send an email if you want. Or you can ring them up, or ask them to ring you up. Or you can tell WWDA what you think and we can tell the Inquiry on your behalf.

WWDA is helping the Senate Inquiry to speak directly to some groups of people with disabilities. Today some of the Senate Committee members have gone to Brisbane to meet with a group of women with disabilities to hear the women’s views. They are also going to Adelaide soon to meet with another group of women with disabilities. People With Disability Australia (PWD) are also helping to organise a meeting in Sydney. The Senate Committee members have agreed to go out and talk directly to groups of people with disabilities so that our voices and views are heard.

WWDA would strongly encourage everyone to contribute to the Inquiry in some way. The Committee has developed a Plain English version of the Terms of Reference which is available on WWDA’s website at:

If you would like to share your ideas, views, thoughts, experiences etc with the Inquiry, you can do so in the following ways:

Phone: (02) 6277 3515
TTY: (02) 6277 7799

Or by post to:

Senate Standing Committees on Community Affairs
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600 Australia

You can submit your views anonymously if you wish.