The Institute, which exposes the myth of overpopulation, said it vows to never forget "the day when the population controllers got their way."
The period of emergency caused a strong backlash in the country, and since then the population control policies have refocused their efforts on targeting women, Hvistendahl said.
"The irony is that it's much easier to sterilize men," she added.
Danielle Sisk serves as the National Student Advocacy Director for the Dalit Freedom Network, which works on the ground in India to aid the poorest and most disadvantaged people in India by providing education, health care and other services without discrimination.
Sisk said the poorest women in India are seen as easy targets for sterilization, as they are often illiterate and therefore uneducated about the risks associated with tubectomies, including risks to surrounding organs and the permanence of the procedure.
Sterilizations in India are supposedly voluntary, but there are many reports of coercion of women by officials to have the procedure in exchange for a very small sum – about $20, a week's worth of wages in the impoverished Chhattisgarh.
But the incentives work both ways, said Sisk.
"When you have a doctor in the community that's been told he has to meet a certain quota each month, you then have doctors trying to perform this crazy amount of procedures, maybe 80 or 100 in a day," often with little or no monitoring or accountability for how the procedures are done, she said.
Women are also often told through various campaigns that sterilization is in their best interest, but Sisk said this begs the question of how free they are to make that decision when they are not well educated and are an at-risk population.
"Where is the woman's voice in this?" she said. "She's offered incentives, but if these women weren't already at risk due to poverty or a social hierarchy, would this be their desire?"
Hvistendahl added that there may be more sinister roots of the population control programs.
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"Poor women are ostensibly targeted because there is a higher birth rate among the poor," she said, "But India also has a history of population control with eugenic aims -- directed at supposedly improving the 'quality' of the population by curbing the birth rate among the poor."
"There is a huge difference between empowering women to make family planning decisions and a state imposing birth control or sterilizations on its people," Hvistendahl said.
Besides health risks and death, another perhaps unintended consequence of the mass sterilizations is the further exploitation of women as sexual targets for traffickers, Sisk said.
"We work really closely with the temple prostitutes, girls sold at a young age to the temple…who are basically used or sexually exploited," she said, "but one of our concerns is that when you have a woman who is sterilized, what further risks are you putting her to, especially if she's not married? Or even if she is married?"
"They now have this woman, who is their product, who is their supply for this demand to sexually exploit her," Sisk said. "Not only do they have the supply, they no longer have to worry about her getting pregnant or not being able to make money off of her, or having to pay for a kid or getting an abortion."
According to the latest data from the U.S. State Department, India is considered Tier 2 when it comes to complying with the Trafficking Victims Protection Act – they are still not in full compliance, but have made strides in recent years to protect women.