Birth control

India introduces injectable contraceptives to help women space out pregnancies

Women lined up for examinations before sterilization surgery at a government hospital in Mahendragarh, India. (Kuni Takahashi/The New York Times)

The introduction of injectable contraception in India has been met with resistance by women who are skeptical about the pharmaceutical change from traditional female sterilization, a laparoscopic procedure that is performed about four million times per year at government clinics. The injectable drugs — popular in neighboring Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh and viewed favorably by the World Health Organization — are a sea change for India, the world’s most populous nation, where women often bear many children at young ages and are at higher risk for early death because of it. And though health ministers in the government have been pushing for the drugs to be offered at clinics, some women in the country view the injectables as a push by Western pharmaceutical companies and, more generally, by the West as a ploy to control India’s population, according to The New York Times. The government said it will roll out the injectables slowly, at only a few government clinics at first, potentially to be followed by the introduction of implanted contraceptives.

Read the full story at The New York Times.

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