- quinacrine sterilisation


Quinacrine Sterilisation (QS) is a non-surgical, permanent method of sterilization by the synthetic anti-malarial chemical quinacrine. When quinacrine pellets are inserted into the uterus through an intra-uterine device, they dissolve, form scars and block the fallopian tube to prevent fertilisation. Women’s health advocates around the world in the nineties were alarmed to discover that large-scale clinical trials had been conducted with QS on over 100,000 women in 25 countries. A vibrant campaign by women’s groups exposed the unholy nexus between American fortune-hunters, international NGOs, the USFDA, Indian entrepreneurs, NGOs and government hospitals who were brazenly subjecting women to this hazardous form of sterilisation. Finally it took a Public Interest Litigation filed for the Supreme Court to ban QS due to its unknown and potentially harmful long-term effects on women. But we knew that the struggle had to continue outside the courts. A study conducted in 2003 found that five years after the ban, medical practitioners in India were still using quinacrine to sterilize women who did not know that it was an unauthorised method. Reminding us once again of the lengths to which the population control establishment can go to stop births. 



The Sordid Story of Chemical Sterilisations of Women

A Saheli Report

July 1997 / November 2000