How is abortion looked upon in India
In India, there is something called sex selective abortion. In many parts of India, families prefer male child rather than the female child. This is due to the fact that parents have to buy jewellery, and save a lot of money in order to find a promising husband for their daughter. In case of boys, there is no such hassle. Hence women in villages purposefully caused miscarriages, when they found that the sex of the child is female. In order to avoid sex selective abortion, government had a tight grip over any kind of abortion, except where it caused a serious threat to the life of the woman. The government formed a committee to review the abortion law. Thereby they reformed the rule in 1971, when it found that women have the right to abort their pregnancy(but under certain strict guidelines)
The 1971 law states that, abortion is legal only up to twenty weeks of pregnancy, and only under certain situations and circumstances. That is –
1) Continuance of pregnancy would involve a risk to the life of the pregnant woman or of grave injury of physical or mental health, or
2) There is a substantial risk that, if the child were born, it would be handicapped, or would suffer from physical and mental abnormalities.
If a women was raped, then it is allowed by Indian law(MTP act) to terminate the pregnancy.
The reason i am writing this post is of course due to the controversy surrounding the newly proposed abortion law in Poland.
How do i see the newly proposed abortion law in Poland?
In Poland there is a mixed opinion about aborting pregnancy if the inborn was to be born out of rape. Poland being a catholic nation, has very strict laws regarding abortion. Mostly women who wanted to get abortion go to Czech republic or Slovakia to abort their pregnancy, since the procedure is far too hassle free in those countries than in Poland.
The new law would allow abortion, only if it would stand as a clear danger to the life of the pregnant woman. In all other cases, whether it be rape, or the child being born as a handicap, or as mentally/ physically retarted, abortion could result in 5 years in prison for the pregnant woman. This law reflects the catholic face of Poland than anything. ”Would Jesus want You to abort Your kid’s life while still in pregnancy? No! So how can a catholic country like ours allow abortion? What kind of christians are we then?”
I as an Indian, completely support women’s right to abort their pregnancy. I think every other Indian would stand by Polish women, who as we speak, are fighting for their rights in cities through out Poland. If continuing the pregnancy could involve a risk to the life of the pregnant woman, or cause mental/ physical injury to her or the child, she has every right to abort the pregnancy. The same goes for women’s right to abort their pregnancy, if she was a victim of rape. How can the mother look upon her kid and be constantly reminded about the fact that she was a victim of non-consensual sex and be traumatised by her past?
In a way i feel that the government in Poland is going back to 'India’ before 1971. We Indians might not be as developed as Poland when it comes to equal rights of men and women, and we might have huge problems like poverty, and illegal abortions of female kids in villages. But at least our government allows the legal right to abortion for women under certain conditions. It is fair and supportive of the women’s right to protect her own self before anything. I think Polish government should look it upon as a case of upholding women’s rights, than as a religious thing. I sincerely hope that the new law wont be passed. It would be hard to imagine a country in the middle of Europe, going back to the times of stone age, while all other countries around us are forward thinking, and allows legal abortion when and where it is necessary.