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Stop Forced Sterilizations in India

PRI has been tracking India and the abuses under its population control program for decades.

We are currently working on a comprehensive report of Indian sterilization abuses, but for now, see some of our existing work on India below.

By the Numbers

Sterilization Statistics

  • 37% of all women between the ages of 15 and 49 living in India have been sterilized [1]

  • By the age of 35 more than half of all women in India are sterilized [2]

  • Most sterilizations are performed on women between the ages of 20 and 35, but one in a hundred married teenagers in India have been sterilized [3]

  • 4.5 million Indian women are sterilized every year. [4]

Informed Consent

  • 34% of women (about one in three women) who have been sterilized say they were not informed that the procedure was permanent.[5]

  • 68% (about two out of three women) who have been sterilized say they were not informed about side effects or problems.[6]

  • Informed consent rates are poor throughout the entire country, but are worse among the lesser educated and the lowest income brackets.[7]

  • In 1996, the federal republic of India declared it’s family planning to be “target-free” but individual states still set yearly sterilization targets--often set in the hundreds of thousands.[8]

Runaway Fertility?

  • The Total Fertility Rate of India (the average number of children born per woman) is 2.5.[9]

  • The Net Reproduction Rate of India (the average number of daughters born per woman who survive through reproductive age) is 1.1.[10]

  • Of India’s 29 states, 15 have fertility rates that are lower than replacement level. [11]

PRI Research and Publications by Topic

The Emergency Period

A Once and Future Tragedy

Sterilization Camps

Sterilization Camps in India (2015)

“We are Being Treated Like Animals” (2015)

USAID Funding of Sterilization Camps in India (PDF, 2.5MB) (2015)

Who’s Behind India’s Mega Sterilization Camps? (2013)

The Disassembly Lines (1997)

The Disassembly Lines, part II (1997)

Panchayat Fertility Restrictions

Aborting Indian Democracy (2015)

India Limits Babies (2004)

Sex Selection

Infanticide, Abortion Responsible for 60 Million Girls Missing in Asia (2007)

India’s Missing Women (2006)

Girls the Losers in Asian Fertility Wars (1996)

Graphics

Footnotes

1. International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS) and Macrto International. 2007. National Family Health Survey (NFHS-3), 2005-06. India: Volume I. Mumbai: IIPS.

2. Ibid.

3. Ibid.

4. "Health and Family Welfare Statistics in India 2013." National Health Mission. 2013. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Statistics Division.

5. Demographic and Health Surveys

6. Ibid.

7. Ibid.

8. Government of India. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. "State Programme Implementation Plan" Web.

9. Total Fertility Rate. Data. World Bank. Web.

10. United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, World Population Prospects: The 2012 Revision, New York, 2013.

11. "Health and Family Welfare Statistics in India 2013." National Health Mission. 2013. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Statistics Division.

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