Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Motherhood is for all? Debate rages in SC- Hindustan Times

Dear friends,

A rather tricky legal entangle from High Court now in the Supreme Court. A tussle between pro-life and pro-choice activists and at stake is the life of a 19 year mentally retarded unwed and orphaned girl stranded in a state run home! Any delay can be a peril to her life. And I am sure the delay would not allow any abortion eventually in this legal entangle and pro-life activists are most likely to win - not because of their arguments for life of child and the rights of the girl to have her baby but because of the inherent threat to the life of the challenged girl that an abortion would pose after 20 weeks!!

Links of the News Items
Hindustan Times: Motherhood is for all? Debate rages in SC- Hindustan Times
Indian Express: http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/terminate-pregnancy-of-mentally-challenged-rape-victim-orders-hc/490988/

Here is the debate that went on on the Facebook for your information:

Subhash Chandra Vashishth
Would this be a travesty of justice and permanent addition to the miseries of the orphaned girl ? The supreme court has to take a decision on urgency taking a holistic approach and giving due emphasis to social, physical, mental capacity and financial conditions! Can't afford to prolong such matters before various courts!

Jo McGowan Chopra
Not that simple, I'm afraid. Leave aside the issue of the baby's right to life (which doesn't seem to even come into the argument), the young woman in question has expressed a strong desire to keep the baby. Are her wishes to be ignored? She is said to have the intellectual age of a nine year old. Nine year olds are very capable of making good decisions, especially if given support by wise, impartial older friends. Does the court feel that all people of limited intellectual ability should be prevented from having children? Are we prepared to make such decisions for other people, particularly when they have expressed their convictions repeatedly and with force?

Jamie Osborne
If the woman is a ward of the State, then what the State says goes. As far as I know, the UNCRPD doesn't ensure that people with developmental disabilities have more say over their possible futures than their guardians...

Subhash Chandra Vashishth
Thanks Jo for your view and I agree with your argument but where is the support by wise and impartial older friends. She is in a state run home for mentally challenged where two security guards were involved in raping her. God knows how many others have been treated there similar way. I am only worried about the future of the child who would have no support but to remain in the same home and the mother may not be able to look after the interest of the child. The fear is what if the child is a girl .... Thanks Jamie for your opinion, the girl is under the guardianship of the state, however, since it was a criminal case, the matter is subjudice hence any action needs to be okayed by Court.


Rama Chari
If the girl has desired to keep the baby, she should be allowed to do so.. She has equal rights like anybody else.

Jo McGowan Chopra
The wise and impartial friends have to be us, I think. Surely there is some NGO in Chandigarh which can help this young woman? And if we are truly concerned about the baby, is killing it the way to express that concern?

Subhash Chandra Vashishth
Between the two groups of Pro-life & Pro-choice activists the young girl is waiting for answers from the Supreme court. May be it is the right time that some NGO then takes her in to their guardianship and provide crucial support. My dear senior colleage Senior Advocate Collin Gonsalves, who incidently also heads HRLN is pro-abortion for he seem to... Read more believe that all those who are showing support to the girl to have a baby will not be found when she would need some support!

Jo McGowan Chopra
Colin may be right. But there are definitely pro-life people who WILL step forward if the baby needs a home. I think my husband and I are too old to do it ourselves, but I think I could find someone willing.

Kavita Agrawal
Another question that comes to my mind is that whether any one is coming forward to take care of the child should the girl be allowed to have the child. It is Ok to talk about society supporting the girl. I don't see any of the so called society people coming forward to take care of the girl and the child. if we had such responsible society probably the rape wouldn't have taken place at all......people would have been more sensitive....

No comments: