Coerced Mass Sterilization in India – 103 Women Dumped into Fields Post-Op

When did women lose their human rights in the face of ‘reproductive rights’?

Leslie Carol Botha: I would like top credit Michael Cook, publisher and editor of BioEdge for publishing this information in his wonderful newsletter – BioEdge – bio ethics news from around the world.

I have to include Cooke’s brilliant commentary that he sent out this morning in his newsletter email.

You may recall that in July last year, Melinda Gates, one of the world’s richest women, and the British government, organised a family planning summit in London. Rich nations and NGOs pledged US$2.6 billion to meet the unmet need for contraception in the developing world.

At the meeting, India’s representatives swore that there would be a “paradigm shift” in their family planning programs. Somehow the word doesn’t seem to have reached West Bengal, as you can read in the story below.

Early last month more than a hundred women were processed at a “sterilization camp” at the Manikchak Rural Hospital by two doctors. All the guidelines for this kind of event were broken. After the operation, the women, still under the effects of anaesthesia, were dumped in an open field without sanitation. There were no tents. According to the local media, “such frenzied sterilisation camps are routine.”

India no longer has centralised family planning quotas, but in practice state and district officials set targets, leading to disgraces like this.

As far as I can remember, no one ever mentioned “sterilization camps” at the London summit which was applauded so enthusiastically in the world media. It would be interesting to see if some of this $2.6 billion is flowing into the pockets of the doctors who treated these women like animals in the hinterland of India.

Michael Cook


Women dumped in field after sterilization in West Bengal

The women had undergone surgical procedures at a hospital in Malda

Live Mint & The Wall Street Journal
February 7, 2013India Sterilization

Kolkata: Scores of women were dumped unconscious in a field after a mass sterilization because there was no room in hospital for them to recuperate, medical officials said on Thursday.

The women had all undergone surgical procedures at a hospital in the Malda district of West Bengal, around 360 kilometres north of Kolkata, which officials admitted was not equipped to accommodate such a large number of patients.

The scandal came to light after news channel NDTV aired amateur footage of unconscious women being carried out of the hospital Tuesday by men and then placed on open land.

Local health officials acknowledged that the patients’ treatment was unacceptable and promised an inquiry.

“Over 100 women, mostly poor, came to the camp for the surgery. Immediately after the procedure, the doctors asked the helpers to move each of them to the adjacent field,” Biswa Ranjan Satpathi, West Bengal’s director of health services, told AFP in Kolkata.
“This is inhuman and we have ordered a probe into the incident,” he added.


Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.

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