Quinacrine Introduction

Date Published: July 17, 2006
Source: The Quinacrine Alert Network

The Quinacrine Alert Network is a multi-racial alliance of feminists, health practitioners and scholars who are campaigning against the use/abuse of Quinacrine as a method of non-surgical female sterilization. The Quinacrine drug, which was developed as an anti-malarial treatment, is now distributed as a sterilant.

We oppose use of Quinacrine sterilization because:

• This method has substantial risks associated with it. It is less effective than surgical sterilization and may increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy.
• No proper animal studies have been done to ensure that quinacrine does not cause birth defects, cancer or genetic mutations, or to understand other possible adverse effects.

• Claims that it is a safe and easy method of sterilization are unsubstantiated because they are based on human trials with inconsistent follow-up. This questionable method is being tested on vulnerable populations, almost exclusively on poor women of Third World countries.

• The proponents of this method are continuing their efforts to distribute quinacrine despite protests from women's organizations, and disapproval and warnings from institutions such as USFDA, the World Health Organization, the Association for Voluntary Surgical Contraception, and the Population Council.

• It is highly unethical that 104,000 women worldwide have been sterilized with quinacrine before the drug has undergone animal testing and received approval from regulatory bodies.

• The promoters of quinacrine view it as a cheap, practical method for reducing population growth.

• Many women sterilized by this method are not informed that this is to date only an experimental method.

We maintain a commitment to safe reproductive health choices for women. We support women's right to safe, ethical, voluntary and accessible contraception and abortion. Quinacrine does not constitute such a choice.

Women from all parts of the world, concerned about the unethical use of quinacrine for sterilization purposes, are joining together to oppose the surreptitious distribution of quinacrine. The governments of India and Chile have banned the use of quinacrine as a sterilant until it is tested extensively and approved by a proper regulatory body. We monitor and keep track of current research on quinacrine sterilization. For example, we are now monitoring how quinacrine promoters are targeting abortion providers in the US, wanting them to use the drug off-label. Our network strives to create awareness among people about the health hazards and risks associated with this procedure.

We urge you to educate others about quinacrine sterilization. To report quinacrine use in your community or get more information, please contact one of the groups below:

Quinacrine Alert Network

For more information contact the following:

Committee on Women, Population
and the Environment (CWPE)
Population and Development Program
Hampshire College-CLPP
Amherst, MA 01002-5001
USA
Phone: (413) 559-5506
Fax: (413) 559-6045
E-mail: cwpe@hampshire.edu

Women's Global Network for
Reproductive Rights (WGNRR)
NZ Voorburgwal 32
1012 RZ Amsterdam
The Netherlands
Phone: 31-20-620-96-72
Fax: 31-20-622-24-50
E-mail: office@wgnrr.nl

CERAS/Alternatives
Centre d'Études et de resources
sur l'Asie du Sud
3680 Jeanne Mance Street
Montreal, Qc., Canada
Phone: (514) 982-6066
Fax: (514) 982-6612
E-mail: ceras@alternatives.ca

SAHELI
Women's Resource Centre
Unit above shop no. 105-108
Defence Colony Flyover Market (South Side)
Defence Colony
New Dehli 110 024
India
Phone: 461 6485 (Wednesday & Saturday)