IUD’s and other contraceptives give women the right to choose when they want to get pregnant, but they can also take those choices away when they are forced upon women. Britney Spears is an example of this. Spears suffered reproductive coercion when she was stripped of her right to have children after the government mandated a birth control implant as part of her court mandated conservatorship. Pandia Health stands in solidarity with women who experience reproductive coercion, and continues to support a woman’s right to choose.
What is a conservatorship?
The California judicial branch defines a conservatorship as “a court case where a judge appoints a responsible person or organization (called the “conservator”) to care for another adult (called the “conservatee”) who cannot care for himself or herself or manage his or her own finances,” (CA Courts).
While a conservatorship may be necessary in some cases (i.e. an individual who has severe memory loss and cannot make effective decisions on their own), it is often abused by the conservator. More specifically, the responsible party may mismanage the conservatee’s actions and/or make poor choices about their healthcare. Furthermore, unless having a conservator is the only way to meet an individual’s financial and health-related needs, a conservatorship is typically not recommended by the court.
Why was Britney Spears’ conservatorship put in place?
Britney Spears has been in a conservatorship since 2008. For Spears, this began when she was hospitalized after “involuntary psychiatric evaluations.” Her father James P. Spears was appointed conservator to manage his daughter and her finances. This has led to a power dynamic that is controlling and potentially unsafe. For instance, Britney Spears claims to have been forced into an unwarranted stay at a mental health facility and to perform against her will. Additionally, James Spears remains in charge of the $60 million fortune that she has rightfully earned throughout her career.
In 2021, Britney Spears appeared in the Los Angeles superior court to publically share the abuse she has experienced under the conservatorship during the last 13 years. She pleaded with the court to restore her right to make decisions about her own life.
What did the court case entail?
During her deposition Spears revealed that her desire to have children had been stopped by an abusive conservatorship which has taken away her reproductive autonomy. Speaking directly to the judge, Spears said: “I wanted to take the IUD out so I could start trying to have another baby, but this so-called team won’t let me go to the doctor to take it out because they don’t want me to have any more children.” Not only is this situation heartbreaking, but it’s also quite disturbing—Spears does not even have the right to make decisions about her own body.
Why is Britney Spears’ conservatorship so controversial??
Every woman deserves control over her own body, whether that be sexual freedom or access to an abortion or birth control. Involuntary birth control is a modern example of forced sterilization from which individuals, particularly those with uteri, have historically suffered. It’s another assault against women which can only be corrected by courageously standing up to confront the abusers.
What’s the takeaway?
Britney Spears has achieved worldwide recognition as an accomplished performer and a cultural icon, but she shed all pretense and pride to be recognized not as a celebrity but as another woman desperately seeking justice. Women are often victimized by those closest to them and speaking up offers the best chance of survival. Hotlines are available for women experiencing sexual abuse, sexual coercion, and reproductive coercion.
How can Pandia Health help?
In situations where women are in need of contraceptives, Pandia Health makes birth control accessible—all you need is access to the Internet and a mailbox. No matter the reason (preventing pregnancy, skipping your period, family planning, or regulating hormones), we have your back. Sign up for our hassle-free, confidential birth control delivery service!
Pandia Health stands with Britanny Spears and all other women seeking sexual and reproductive rights. FreeBritney.Army, a website dedicated to supporting Spears suggests writing letters to public officials, filing formal complaints, educating yourself and others, asking corporations to boycott, attending a #FreeBritany protest, and hosting a rally and canvassing in your city. Share to educate others if you agree.