Tag: Anna Vander Kooi

Britney Spears, Conservatorships, and Reproductive Freedom

By: Anna Vander Kooi

On June 23, 2021, Britney Spears offered her testimony to the court pertaining to her high-profile conservatorship that began thirteen years ago.[1] In this conservatorship, Spears’ personal life and finances were under the discretion of her father, James Spears, with whom the singer has had a tumultuous relationship. There were many jarring moments throughout her 23-minute speech, as she accused her conservators of putting her on heavy medication, forcing her to perform, and withholding the money she’s earned.[2]  What’s more, Spears claimed that her reproductive rights were compromised through the conservatorship. “I was told right now in the conservatorship, I’m not able to get married or have a baby,” she testified, according to a New York Times transcript.[3] “I have a ID [IUD] inside of myself right now so I don’t get pregnant. I wanted to take the ID [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 children, any more children.”[4] Spears’s revelation that she has been subject to forced methods of birth control caused waves within the public. While her accusations were shocking to hear, her experience of limited reproductive freedom is by no means uncommon for individuals under a conservatorship or otherwise deemed disabled. There are several cases that demonstrate the reproductive restraints that conservators have been permitted to oversee for disabled people.[5]