Exposing the Horrors of India’s Sterilization Camps

The Population Research Institute has posted excerpts from a speech that Anne Morse recently gave to the United Nations about the human rights abuses perpetrated in India’s sterilization camps:

Last November, 83 women were sterilized in a matter of hours at a sterilization camp in the east Indian state of Chhattisgarh. At least a dozen women died from the unhygienic conditions, and the large number of deaths in one sterilization camp garnered international media attention. While sterilization camps rarely claim a dozen lives at a time, women are routinely maimed and killed in sterilization camps in India. In the four months since news of the Chhattisgarh camp broke, sterilization camps and their horrors steadily continue.

India’s “family planning” system is more about controlling reproduction than planning families. Throughout the country, states set yearly and quarterly targets for sterilization “acceptors” and sterilization camps. With the emphasis set on targets, sterilizations are treated as a substitute for holistic healthcare. Women—often the poor, marginalized, and illiterate—pay the price.

Continue reading about the speech here. Morse says that according to official government statistics, “[o]n average, three women die every week from botched sterilizations.”

PRI has posted a number of reports and articles on the sterilization camps, including detailing how American tax dollars are being used to fund them.

As Morse notes,

India’s system of sterilization camps is deliberate and pervasive. India’s systematic sterilization of women en masse, without informed consent, and in dangerous conditions demands our attention.

In just five short years, India will be home to the largest population of women of reproductive age in the world. Anyone concerned with women’s rights—or indeed human rights—cannot continue to ignore India’s systematic sterilization camps. Any country or organization which funds or co-implements sterilization camps in India has the moral obligation to cease funding until India enacts genuine reform in their public health sector. To continue funding of sterilization camps is to incur responsibility for the human rights abuses.

Learn More:
Stop Forced Sterilizations in India
“Unmet Need” and Pushing Contraceptives on Women in the Developing World
She Shouldn’t Have to Choose Between Barrenness and Death
Debunking the Myths of Overpopulation

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