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Abortion – Parent’s choice?

August 4, 2008

Today the Mumbai High Court denied permission to a couple, Niketa and Harsh Mehta, to abort their 26 week old foetus. The couple claimed that the child will be born with a congenital heart condition, for which they will have a hard time bearing the cost. This seems to have sparked off a debate whether the mother (or parents) should have the choice to abort their foetus.

It seems the law states that you can’t abort a foetus more than 20 weeks old. My guess is that this law was created to ensure the safety of the mother. If foetus of more than 20 weeks is aborted, there are chances that the mother might not survive. This law was created in 1971. Of course, since then medical science has advanced, as have the facilities available. So perhaps there is a need to review the law itself that will allow abortion of upto 24 week old foetus. I didn’t read anywhere that the law itself prevents abortion before the stated time of foetus growth (I am not exactly a lawyer, as you might guess), so basically the law isn’t preventing the ‘choice’.

Which leads to the main debate. The couple stated that they would like to abort the foetus because they wouldn’t be able to afford the medical expenses in case the born child has a congenital handicap at birth. Is this a right reason to abort? Should there be a ‘choice’ in this case? In my view, if there is fundamentally a choice available for abortion, then the reason for abortion should not be viewed to judge the couple.

Should abortion itself be a choice? Well that’s another debate!!!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Anamika permalink
    August 5, 2008 3:48 pm

    There are few fundamental questions as correctly raised here:
    1. Is abortion a choice ?
    2. if so, why there is period/time limit attached?

    As a woman and a mother, I strongly object aboration at all. It should be abolished as a choice.

    Time limit if due to medical reason, so the advancement of the medical science should be able to take care now. Similar applies for the foetus as well.

  2. August 16, 2008 8:43 am

    Good point about medical science being available for mother too, thereby reducing the reasons for abortion.

    I am ‘pro-choice’ even though I don’t quite like the way ‘choice’ is used. I believe that abortion should not be illegal.


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