The death of 15 women at two state-run sterilisation camps in Chhattisgarh has put a spotlight on India's dark history of botched sterilisations.
The drive to sterilise began in the 1970s when, encouraged by loans amounting to tens of millions of dollars from the World Bank, the Swedish International Development Authority and the UN Population Fund, India embarked on an ambitious population control programme.
Since family planning efforts began in the 1970s, India has focused its population control efforts on women, even though, as scientists say, sterilisations are easier to perform in men. "This may be because women are deemed less likely to protest," says Ms Hvistendahl.
India carried out nearly 4 million sterilisations during 2013-2014, according to official figures. Less than 100,000 of these surgeries were done on men. More than 700 deaths were reported due to botched surgeries between 2009 and 2012. There were 356 reported cases of complications arising out of the surgeries.