Sterilisation in India (and globally) has a contentious and deeply politicised history. Despite this troubling legacy, India continues to rely on female sterilisation as the main form of contraception and family planning. Abortion, which has been legal under broad grounds since 1971, intersects with sterilisation at different points over women's reproductive lifecourse. Drawing on three case studies exploring women's abortion trajectories in Karnataka, India (2017), this chapter examines sterilisation as a reproductive technology (RT) in women's abortion narratives. These include experiences of failed sterilisation necessitating abortion, as well as narratives around pre- and post-abortion counselling with sterilisation conditionalities. Women report healthcare workers shaming or scolding them for not being sterilised after their last pregnancy – demonstrating the prominence of sterilisation as an enforced social norm using ‘health’ frames. Using reproductive justice (RJ) as a lens, I analyse how sterilisation interacts with abortion and the narratives of shame and stigma that surround the two technologies and make visible the ways in which it results in the denial and restriction of women's reproductive freedoms.
|Title of host publication
|Technologies of Reproduction Across the Lifecourse
|Victoria Boydell, Katharine Dow
|Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.
|Published - 15 Sept 2022