The Culture War: United States of America and the legalization of Abortion in India

19 Feb, 2018 By Uyirkkural

 India decriminalized abortion two years before United States in August 10, 1971. But what’s more shocking and wretched than this is the fact that the global abortion giant International Planned Parenthood Federation was born in India during one of the noteworthy Planned Parenthood international conferences which took place in Mumbai in 1952. There is a long forgotten history behind the legalization of abortion in India.

Only few know that the think tanks in New York and California were the driving force behind the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act 1971. The current abortion holocaust happening in India can never be understood without reference to the population control movement and the involvement of certain international players especially United States and organizations like Planned Parenthood, USAID, World Bank, Ford Foundation, Rockefellers, Marie Stopes Intl and consortium partners.

The influence of US on the MTP Act 1971

It isn’t difficult to predict the ravage that would follow the visit of Margaret Sanger, the well-known eugenicist to India in the year 1936. What was hard for her to achieve in US due to religious objection was handed like a piece of cake in a golden plate in India. Margaret Sanger is a racist and radical feminist who advocated for eugenics. Her initiative “Negro Project” which plotted for the extermination of colored people speaks for itself. ( by the term colored she meant not just meant African Americans but included Indian and Chinese)

The Birth control movement led by Sanger gained support from major national leaders in India including Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Bose, Periyar, Sarojini Naidu etc. In fact Nehru admired Sanger so much that he inaugurated the International Planned Parenthood Federation conference of 1959 which was held in Delhi. Sanger’s affiliation with upper caste elites in India who held contempt for the suffering masses led to coercive birth control policies disguised in the form of family planning programs.

From 1920’s to 1970’s

Unlike US and UK Abortion in India was legalized not as a result of feminist movement, the gimmick was totally different. It was forced on poor people who were systematically looted during British colonialism on accounts of poverty and population control. Obviously we were in poverty because we had been looted by colonialism for more than a century. But contrary to the notion that colonialism ended by August 15, 1947 a perfect plan for new form of colonialism was already implemented. It is the family planning movement.

(Timeline of Population Control movement as intertwined with Legalization of Abortion in India)


Many tend to think that the Kissinger’s NSSM 200 (1974) Report is the beginning of U.S involvement of activities related to family planning and abortion in India. But it was way beyond, even before 1930’s that India had been targeted as “Yellow Peril” by proponents of Eugenics and population control. “Yellow Peril” is a racist term used by English to refer to people of color in Asia. Birth control was then imposed by west as an answer to alleviate poverty in developing countries, especially India.

Since initial efforts to curb India’s population did not satisfy the West, the idea of using ‘force’ was promoted. ‘Forced birth control’ was the result of 1927 World conference on Population organized by Margaret Sanger. Not denying the fact that people like Dhanavanthi Rama Rau and A.P Pillay who were proponents of eugenics in India worked alongside international Eugenicists making it easy for them to wipe Indians off the face of the earth.

Absolute power corrupts absolutely

Margaret Sanger approached Mahatma Gandhi to gain his support for her Birth Control movement in India. However Gandhi denied politely pointing to the fact that India was not in need of war time efforts to control its population and the dangers that would follow with birth control movement in society.

Dhanavanthi Rama Rau the close associate of Sanger and President of Family Planning Association of India (FPAI) was related to Nehru who was then Prime Minister of India. Both Rama Rao and Nehru are Kashmiri Brahmins- a very close knit upper caste community. This coalition led to the involvement of FPAI and Planned Parenthood to influence national health policy of India from its inception since 1951 to allocate huge amounts of total health budget on family planning activities.

(Nehru, Margaret Sanger and Dhanavanthi Rama Rao (left to right) pic credit : FPA India)


The concept of family planning was made attractive and essential and even an emergency at one point. Meanwhile international organizations mentioned previously got stronghold in the country in 1950’s. U N advisory who visited India in 1964 urged to begin ‘reinforced programme’ i.e incentive based approach which led to target based sterilizations and abortions. Same year Shantilal Shah Committee was formed to study the question of legalizing abortion in India. By 1967 almost a million women were inserted with IUCD and Indian women were used as guinea pig for the oral pill experiment. By 1970’s a target of 14 million sterilization was given in the fourth five year plan. USAID, UNFPA, World Bank and Swedish Developmental agency funded these initiatives.

Awabai Wadia, then president of FPAI which is an affiliate of IPPF was a member in the Shantilal Shah committee which was formed in 1964 to study the question of legalization of abortion in India. What else would be the outcome of the report if the national abortion giant supported by international abortion promoter be in the committee? The Abortion act was renamed as Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act to confuse people and gain acceptance. Finally in 1971 Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act was passed in India with no much fuss or protest.

‘Indifferent India’

Here we are after seventy years stony, indifferent and with complete lack of remorse about killing the child in the womb. We cannot simply play ‘victims’ of neo Malthusian imperialism of west. We gave up our morales, our dignity and easily accepted the gruesome idea of sacrificing the life of our precious innocent children and easily embraced materialism.

Look around us, the nations smaller than us and economically weaker than us are standing up for their children, for their families. Peru, Chile, Colombia, Nigeria, Portugal all fight against the evil of abortion. But in India? An eerie silence and unbearable indifference spreads across the nation as we give blind eye to the massacre of 16 million a year. When are we going to wake up to this decimation?

The influence of U.S. on the culture of India is not a thing of past. Every year almost $40-60 million is spent on India through America’s Mexico City Policy until 2017. It is highly imperative that we know the past- of how we came to be complicit to the slaughter of our own children. The past helps us to understand the present and therefore build a different future. A culture where every human person is revered.




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