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Failing Indian Women

Injectable Contraceptives

The campaign against Depo-Provera and the questions raised by the women’s groups still remain relevant. Reproductive rights, when reduced to “choice of contraceptives” without considering the overall health and well-being of women, result only in the control and “unfreedom” of women.

The Government of India has expressed its intention of introducing the controversial injectable contraceptive Depot Medroxyprogesterone Acetate (DMPA; brand name Depo-Provera) into the family planning programme (FPP) of India. The most common arguments for the introduction of Depo-Provera are the increase in choice for women, ease of administration, and availability in the private market for over two decades. They blame the opposition by “certain women’s groups” for the delayed entry of these injectables into the FPP of the country. This article argues that the campaign against Depo-Provera and the questions raised by the women’s groups still remain relevant and that the simplistic argument of “choice” fails to bring out the complex interactions of the dominant overpopulation discourse, international organisations, and the “unfreedom” experienced by the majority of women in the country.

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