American pop icon Britney Spears spoke out in explosive testimony on Wednesday about the troubling situation surrounding her conservatorship, a contractual agreement that she says has resulted in trauma and abuse.
"I’ve been in denial; I’ve been in shock; I am traumatized," Spears said during the hearing, as quoted by The New York Times. "I just want my life back."
"I truly believe this conservatorship is abusive," the musician said. "I don’t feel like I can live a full life."
Even more troubling was the fact that, according to Spears' testimony, the court denied her request to have her birth control device, an intrauterine device (IUD), removed. She also alleged that doctors forced her to take lithium, a mood stabilizer, after telling management she wanted to stop her ongoing Las Vegas show, as well as foisting other psychiatric treatments and therapy on her.
Both appear to be likely instances of shocking medical overreach — even to the degree of Spears' reproductive rights being overwritten by the people controlling her personal life and finances.
She said had requested the IUD be removed "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."
The conservatorship took control over her finances in 2008 after Spears began behaving erratically and being admitted to the hospital on two occasions. These kinds of agreements are often granted by a court for those with dementia or other mental illnesses, the BBC reports.
Spears' supporters — many congregating under the #FreeBritney hashtag on social media — were appalled by the news that her right to have children was taken away.
Alexis McGill Johnson, president and chief executive of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, called it an instance of "reproductive coercion" in a tweet.
"Your reproductive health is your own — and no one should make decisions about it for you," McGill Johnson wrote.
The singer has made it repeatedly clear the conservatorship has put severe limits on how she could live her father James Spears huge amounts of control over what she could and couldn't do.
James Spears stepped down temporarily as Spears' personal conservator in 2019 due to ill health, installing Jodi Montgomery, a care professional, according to the BBC.
Spears' fight is far from over.
"I deserve to have the same rights as anyone does by having a child and a family. Any of those things," Spears said during the hearing.
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