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?