Ministry says may examine need for husbands' consent in women's sterilisation

Datuk Seri Rohani Karim it is the ‘norm’ for wives to produce their husbands' consent for tubal ligation procedures. ― File pic
Datuk Seri Rohani Karim it is the ‘norm’ for wives to produce their husbands' consent for tubal ligation procedures. ― File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 17 ― The Women, Family and Community Development Ministry could look into the practice of requiring women to obtain their husbands' consent for certain reproductive procedures if more women express disagreement.

Datuk Seri Rohani Karim today conceded that she was not familiar with the issue, but said that needing wives to produce their husbands' consent for tubal ligation procedures was the “norm.”

The same requirement is not imposed on men obtaining vasectomies.

“The natural process is that there is discussion because this means they don't want kids anymore.

“Because I'm not very aware but all along it’s not being brought up... But maybe we'll look into it if the women want us to look into it,” she said during a press conference at the Putra World Trade Centre today.

Rohani did not clarify, however, if the ministry was for or against the practice.

Malay Mail Online reported earlier today that married women were made to obtain their husbands' consent for sterilisation procedures, but not vice versa.

Health Ministry director-general Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah explained that consent from their spouse is “necessary” if women were “dependent” on their husbands.

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