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“Saved a Generation”

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Campaigns against Hazardous Contraceptives in India

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The last three decades have witnessed campaigns in India by the women’s health movement against provider-controlled contraceptives, i.e., long-acting contraceptives, non-surgical sterilisation and anti-fertility vaccines. These campaigns are examined to understand and analyse the engagement of women’s groups with contraceptive technology in opposing the entry of these contraceptives into the Family Planning Programme (FPP) of the country. The rise of social movements challenging scientific knowledge and scientific institutions is attributed to the “scientisation” of politics; however, we argue that the politicisation of contraceptive technology and its research was the result of women’s collective action in India. The paper explores collective action strategies and intersecting frames of overpopulation, development and technology used by women’s groups to consistently oppose the provider-controlled contraceptives from entering the FPP of the country. The paper uses the internal documents of women’s organisations, media reports and personal interviews to explore the engagement of women’s collective action with contraceptive technologies.

Affiliations: 1: Jawaharlal Nehru University ; 2: Tezpur University


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