India Saves Her Daughter

If you’ve been reading this blog, you must have read my post on The Right to Abortion and that I am still following the case of 10-year-old girl in Paraguay. You know why I feel what is happening is so unfair. As a 10-year-old, I was not even sure of what I would be when I grow up. This little girl is carrying another life in her womb. She is medically fit now but we don’t know if she will be able to stand the process of birthing and everything that comes to it. I did my bit by writing about this, spreading the word, signing the petition and I am still praying that Paraguay government will pay heed to the United Nations’ advise.

If you’ve been reading this blog, you also know that I am critical of many things about India. Yes – my entire 2015 A to Z Challenge was on women and most of it was about Indian Women – Dowry, Acid Attacks, Female Foeticide, Stereotypes and what not. However, last week a piece of news made me think that India is thinking about her women. India is not as shut on this issue as Paraguay is. India is ready to bend and protect its people. India is making exceptions and is not scared to do what has never been done before.

To those who are wondering, where am I headed with this post – let’s take a step back.

A 14-year-old rape survivor in India approached the judiciary to be granted permission for an abortion. Per the Indian Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, a termination of pregnancy is allowed up to 20 weeks but not beyond that. The High Court ruled out the chance of an abortion and instead ordered the State to provide for the girl and supervise her medical needs. The family appealed in the Apex court and in a landmark judgment led by the Chief Justice of India last week, the girl was allowed an abortion.

Giving the mother the right to make a reproductive choice is of utmost importance. In a country where martial rapes are not considered unlawful and where people in power leave no stone unturned to objectify women, this judgment is a ray of hope. This ruling tells me that the emotional, mental and physical state of the 14-year-old was given precedence over anything else.

What’s also noteworthy is the fact that this Act came in to being in the year 1971. A time when technology hadn’t progressed as it has now. Apart from this particular rape case, in case of severe congenital disorders, the foetus cannot show any symptoms of abnormality till 18 weeks and then the very counted 2 more weeks is too less to have the mother exercise her right and understand what she is signing up for. For all the significance of this Act, 43 years is a long time to not have a version control. Wake up India and amend the Act.

So Paraguay, I want to tell you this. Learn from India and treat your women as a human. She is much more than a body to bear children. Amend your laws and consider their mental health and not just physical health. We have stood up for our 14-year-old and India’s daughter is safe. What are you doing for your 10-year-old?

49 Responses

  1. aseemrastogi2 says:

    Parul, kudos to you for giving a platform to issues like these on your blog. I was aware regarding the case in Paraguay and must say it’s really sad. I mean yes laws are there. But the situation and scenario of the case needs to be taken into consideration before passing such a judgement. ,Wasn’t aware of the case in India. Good to hear about such a judgement by the courts taken into consideration the girl’s physical and a emotional state.

  2. Roshni says:

    I didn’t know about the 20 week pregnancy restriction! With conservatives in America trying their hardest to shut down abortion clinics, this is a fight for women’s rights that every country seems to face!

  3. Great effort Parul, I appreciate your brave deed as you’ve taken a big step!! Thanks for post…

  4. ajaybpai says:

    Impressed @Parul thakur. Very Powerful writing.

  5. dNambiar says:

    Seriously it is not fair to cry foul every time abortion is mentioned. There are a lot of factors that go along with it. Abortion don’t spell ‘fun’ for anyone and almost always people have their own reasons for considering it. It is a freedom one should have.
    I agree — the right thing was done here.

    Nice job, Parul. 🙂

  6. Rangelz says:

    Here is a ray of hope. I am proud of our country to have made the right decision. Irrespective of the region, being humans, it only needs basic common sense to understand that a 10 year old should be given the right to adoption. The law has already been made. But the law makers should also ensure that such laws do not affect the people adversely. If they lack this kind of common sense, I wonder how they even became law makers! Hope Paraguay does the right thing.

  7. India sure is improving but we still have a long long way to do when we can use the term justice freely and easily.

    The Paraguay case is really disturbing. Like I said in your post about abortion, I think it should be made legal in cases like rape, marital rape and other health issues. But the problem with our country is if it is made legal people will form all sorts of excuses to get their unwanted pregnancies aborted or the quest for the male child will make them have one abortion after the another. It is a sad state really.

    Just one case is enough to give us hope, but I hope India continues to provide justice to all her daughters.

  8. I’m so glad Indian courts get things right, once in a while. Our laws are archaic enough – add to them the ‘tareek pe tareek’ attitude – and we have justice denied (read delayed by years!).
    Newer medical tests do detect abnormalities much earlier now.

  9. ansumani says:

    Glad to see the an Indian court being progressive than “developed” nations in this case. I wish India led the world in women’s rights and safety showed how it should be done in all spheres.

  10. nabanita says:

    I feel so bad for the 10 year old and I’m glad the 14 yr old from India was saved…I too believe that giving birth is a choice and nothing should be forced on women…Our laws need amendments no doubt but still it’s a welcome decision that inspite of that the right decision has been taken!

  11. In between a depressing state of affairs, somewhere we find a glimmer of hope. Hope more judges and more judgments were sensible and fast in our country.

  12. Its good to see that you’re bringing up such issues to the forefront and keeping us informed. In many ways India is better than other countries.

  13. Beloo Mehra says:

    I haven’t followed the specifics of this case you write about or the one from Paraguay, but I have always known that the way to address any social issue is not criticism for the sake of criticism but a thorough and clear understanding of the problem, its every aspect from legal, social, cultural point of view. No copycat or shortcut solutions will ever work, they have never worked. And in a huge country like ours, we can only address the deep-rooted social maladies on a case-by-case basis, without any broad and ill-informed or prejudiced generalisations. Just my humble opinion 🙂 Hope you don’t mind a slightly different take on this important topic you write about.

    • Beloo – I appreciate your thoughts and I am glad you shared.
      I agree that we need to look at situations from a case to case basis. My question is on the right to reproduce – whether the woman is in India or abroad. More so when the woman in question is a 10 or 14 year old, we need to do things for their mental health and not for any body else. Rape results in bearing child but we cannot even imagine the plight of the woman/girl who delivers.
      Thank you for stopping by!

      • Beloo Mehra says:

        O of course, I agree in this particular case the decision was absolutely correct. And that’s exactly what I meant when I said that we can only address such sensitive matters on a case by case basis. Whatever was right in this case may not be right for any other case, or any other social-cultural situation. Paraguay has to figure out what is right for their setup. What worked in the case of this Indian situation may or may not work in any other situation, that’s all I was trying to say 🙂 Thanks for your kind reply! Always a pleasure to visit your blog.

  14. But we are also a country that failed to grant justice to Nirbhaya. Sorry, I’m a very bitter Indian at this point :'(

  15. Ramya says:

    rightly said Parul.. the latest judgement is a ray of hope in India. Definitely, the mental health of rape victim to be given priority over any law. As you said, there is also a need to change those very old laws as per current circumstances

  16. So glad you are bringing this to the forefront, Parul. We need more socially active voices such as yours, every single day!

  17. Lata Sunil says:

    I also read the story with some relief. The child might not have known she is pregnant what with the lack of sex education in the country. This case should also throw focus on sex education from the age of 12. Kids are smarter and get information from dubious sources. Awareness is the best way to fight this. Now, I would really like to know what has happened to the person who raped the child.

  18. Shalzzz says:

    A ray of hope, finally! Lets pray that important decisions like these are taken in our country.

  19. Vinitha says:

    That news was a bit of relief actually. Supreme court stood up for human rights here.

  20. lifelessons says:

    Hear hear. I’m so glad you are furnishing a platform to make us all aware of these issues.

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