‘Right to Abortion’ – a term which is highly debatable in the present Indian context.
The issue popped up with denial to abortion by the highest court of law, the Supreme Court, to a 10-year old rape victim. Recently, the rape survivor delivered a baby. Shocked to hear this? Well, it’s true!
We are living in an independent nation, where we have the right to choose who we want to be and how we live. Where and with whom we want to live. The apex court provides us with the security against any form of discrimination and the same is also guaranteed to us by the constitution. Then why, why such a shocking case emerged in this progressive and developing nation! Do we need an overhauling of the abortion law keeping in view ongoing state of affairs with respect to child rapes?
The girl was already 28 weeks pregnant when the abortion case was brought in front of the judiciary. Not to miss the fact, it was her uncle, may be a chacha, mama, fufa and several other terms that we use to refer ‘uncles’ in India. We all have such uncles near us, we sometimes tend to build relationships with our neighbour and family friends and call them with names like this. However, have we ever thought that those same people can rape, molest or exploit us in the name of relationship? Sometimes, unknowingly, for instance, in the case of this child victim. In this case, who is at fault, is it the victim for not-knowing that she is being raped and the consequences this will lead to? Or the family for not protecting the girl? Or the law system for not being stringent? Or the wild beasts who irrespective of everything commit inhumanely act for satisfaction of their desires?
The girl, in this case, did not even know that there is another life living inside her. And it is absolutely not her fault as in the age of playing with toys; she was made an agent of satisfying her so-called uncles’ lust. Now the question that arises is if she was denied right to abortion then who will provide parental care to the baby! Her lustful biological father would be inside jail and her mother is a child in herself. Then who?
Some or all of the aforementioned questions arise in everyone’s mind that heard about the incidence. They must have been a part of the judicial proceedings as well. Then why the right to abortion was denied? Well! The abortion law in India says that no women can abort a baby post 20 weeks of pregnancy other than exceptional circumstances. This again raises question – was the current case not exceptional enough?
We are, therefore, back to square one. Who is the right authority to take decisions with respect to abortion? Is it the mother bearing a baby bump or the court of justice?