“Supreme Court allows 14-year-old gang rape victim to terminate pregnancy”
“I just want to sleep. I want to play as happily as I used to before that Man touched me. A coma would be nice. Or amnesia. Anything, just to get rid of this, these thoughts, whispers in my mind. Did he rape my head, too?”
Will they force me? Yes or No. I will take you through a stirring journey, a journey that will sure get you sufficient food for thought at the end of it, a journey that will leave you with a certain Yes or in denial with a No.
Rape, not only all over the world but in a country like ours, India, is a brutal crime which in basic words can defined as ‘a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual penetration perpetrated against a person without that person’s consent.
In our ‘Holy’ Country, as pure as the endless faith of people in the Gods and Goddesses from time immemorial, are rooted the ‘pure’ Rapist, who find it hard to control their sexual urge and lust, exercising unwanted control and power over a person’s mind and body. Affected here would not only be that woman who is out for work during late hours, the mother who stays at home, the daughter who goes to study or the woman who wears what she feels like, it is their fault that they have the right to ‘live’, like any other ‘man’ would.
A young girl 14 years old was raped. The girl had become pregnant after she was allegedly raped by her doctor. Her family applied for termination of the pregnancy, which was rejected by a lower court and the Gujarat High Court.
What Our ‘LAW’ Says ?
Now it is pertinent to note here that as per Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, pregnancy of a woman can’t be terminated after 20 weeks. The Act allows abortion between 12-20 weeks that too when the continuance of the pregnancy would cause risk to the life of the pregnant woman or if there is chance of a child being born with physical or mental abnormalities.
Seeking court’s approval to abort the pregnancy, the parents submitted in the petition that the child should not be forced to undergo physical and mental torture to give birth to the child arising out of rape. They submitted that it is violation of her right to life.
“A woman’s right to make reproductive choices is also a dimension of personal liberty under Article 21 of the Constitution. It is extremely essential to know that it is a woman’s own choice to procreate as well as to abstain from procreating. The crucial consideration is that a woman’s right to privacy, dignity and bodily integrity should be respected,” the petition said.
The petitioner approached the Apex court after Gujarat HC turned down the plea for abortion on the ground that law allows termination of pregnancy only until 20 weeks’ gestation.
“The minor victim studying in class X is not physically or mentally capable of going through the pregnancy. She belongs to a poor family, who is not in position to take proper care of child. The victim is suffering from multiple physical and mental problems due to pregnancy.” In the event she is not permitted to terminate the pregnancy, she would have to bear the stigma of being an unmarried mother of a child and her complete future would be ruined,” the petition said.
Scars from the past to affect the future ?
Yes I agree that law exists to grant justice to one and all, it exists even for the unborn life that is yet to come into existence, but what about the young girl who at the age of playing with a doll, would be forced to breastfeed a child, ‘a child’ who came into existence from the womb of another child. Is this what we would have for the young rape victim, who has already had enough suffering for the age she belongs, when the girls her age are enjoying the taste of school, play, fun and frolic, savoring their childhood.
I am not opposing the law or asking a remedy that goes against the principles of life and liberty of any individual under the purview of law, but an approach that cuts its way through the middle, such as a ‘timely and therapeutic abortion’ for a 10 year old girl can be one of the provisions adopted.
It is time we realise that every citizen of this Nation would be a part of the system of law that governs them, incorporating provisions For a young girl, who has been a victim of the callous act of that ‘ruthless man’ whose sexual urge was unleashed because of his own condition and not because the girl provoked him.
Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.