Bilaspur sterilisation deaths: evidence of oppressive population control policy
The recent tragic and completely avoidable deaths of 13 women1 and the critical condition of many more following laparoscopic sterilisation in Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh, signals that nothing has really changed in India’s family planning programme over the past several decades. The manner in which the surgeries were performed, in complete violation of all standard operating procedures and ethical norms, amounts to grave violation of the very basic health rights of the affected women. In addition, it points to the callous and biased attitudes towards poor women that persist among health functionaries and policy-makers, and the tenacious hold of the “targets” approach in the family planning programme despite statements to the contrary.
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