Denmark and Greenland launch independent study into the IUD case
A group of researchers now begin uncovering what happened in the so-called IUD-case, where Greenlandic women and children during the 1960’s were implemented with birth-control spirals
A group of researchers now begin uncovering what happened in the so-called IUD-case, where Greenlandic women and children during the 1960’s were implemented with birth-control spirals. The researchers will study the scope of the case and the decision-making process behind, along with the experiences of the implicated women in question.
Last year, the Danish government and Naalakkersuisut agreed on beginning an independent study into the IUD-case and the overall practice of birth control in Greenland from 1960 to 1991. The researchers will study the scope of the case and the decision-making process behind, along with the experiences of the implicated women in question.
The project is headed by Ilisimatusarfik's centre for Arctic welfare in collaboration with the Centre for Public Health in Greenland at the Southern University of Denmark.
Minister of the Interior and Health in Denmark, Sophie Løhde, says:
"Denmark and Greenland have close relations, but our shared history unfortunately contains some dark chapters that we need to bring into light and learn from. Therefore, it is a good thing that the work being done to illuminate this unfortunate event is set in motion, and that independent researchers have the means to dig deep into both the historical accounts along with the testimonies of the women affected. Their stories have deeply impacted me, and it is now important that we get to the bottom of what happened."
Naalakkersuisoq for Health, Mimi Karlsen, says:
"For the affected women and society it is important that the study can now finally begin. The women have waited for a long time to get answers as to what exactly happened during that period. It has been important to me that the affected women now can have their voices heard, and that the study is anchored in Greenland. The testimonies of those involved is an important element to get to the bottom of the case. I wish the researchers good work, and look forward to having the result of their work presented."
Head of Ilisimatusarfik's centre for Arctic welfare and senior researcher at the Centre for Public Health in Greenland, University of Southern Denmark, Tenna Jensen, is to head the research team. She says:
"We look forward to beginning uncovering this important matter. The study will build on the general knowledge of the institutions and professionals, relevant historical sources, and interviews with those, who were impacted either directly or indirectly. It is important that all the affected women get the opportunity to testify as to their individual accounts."
The study will cover the period from 1960-1991 until Greenland repatriated the public health services. The study is expected to be concluded by May 2025.
Read the terms of reference for the study here (in Danish)
Read more about the agreement on the study here (in Danish)
- Tenna Jensen, head of Ilisimatusarfik's centre for Arctic welfare and senior researcher at the Center for Public Health in Greenland, University of Southern Denmark (head of the research team)
- Bonnie Jensen, assistant professor at Ilisimatusarfik
- Gitte Adler Reimer, rector at Ilisimatusarfik
- Inge Høst Seiding, head of institute at Ilisimatusarfik
- Ingelise Olesen, research coordinator at Ilisimatusarfik
- Janne Rothmar Herrmann, professor at University of Copenhagen
- Kirsten Nystrup, special consultant at the Center for Public Health in Greenland, University of Southern Denmark
- Maja Christiansen, special consultant at the Center for Public Health in Greenland, University of Southern Denmark
- Mette Seidelin, senior researcher, Danish National Archives
- Naja Carina Steenholdt, researcher at the Center for Public Health in Greenland, University of Southern Denmark
- A scientific assistant who is hired at Ilisimatusarfik when the study has begun
- The historical context of the contraceptive practice that began in the 1960s.
- The decision-making process leading up to the initiative to introduce the use of IUDs and other contraceptive methods.
- The concrete implementation in Greenland and for Greenlandic girls enrolled in continuation schools in Denmark.
- How the Greenlandic girls and women have experienced the process through the collection of witness accounts.
- The legal, administrative and healthcare basis at the time for IUD insertion and other contraceptive practices in the country and for students at continuation schools in Denmark during the period.
Questions from the press can be directed to the head of the research team, Tenna Jensen, at [email protected], Ministry of the Interior and Health press officer at [email protected] or to the Department of Health at the Government of Greenland at [email protected].