Sorry, You Can’t Abort
The Mumbai High Court has rejected NIketa and Haresh Mehta’s plea for abortion of their yet to be born child. The couple wants to abort the child because it has been diagnosed to have a weak heart and will survive only if fitted with a pacemaker. The court said it’s too late to abort, since the law does not permit abortions after 20 weeks.
Who is in the best position to decide whether the child should be aborted or not? Surely, the parents have the first say. Libertarians would say the mother has to have the final say, since she is the one who’ll raise the child.
“Nobody will come to see the day-to-day trauma of the baby and the mother. Even if the government will provide funds, it cannot help my child,” Niketa said.
Makes sense, but would the couple not raise the child if they did not know that the child was going to have an abnormality? But the abnormality has got little to do here. Abortion is abortion, health of the child being secondary.
The court is not against abortion, but has set a 20 week timeline for it. This law was based on research which suggested that at 20 weeks, the foetus begins to have an ‘identity’ of sorts. What difference does this timeline make? It surely makes sense to have a timeline in place. The general feeling being that at eight months or so, the child is alive (and kicking).
But the question is, if it’s OK for a mother to abort a child before 20 weeks, she should be allowed to do so later as well. No?
Further reading: Abortion – Pros and Cons