Pregnancy has serious effects on a woman’s mental health and life. In times where a woman’s body is treated as a reproduction machine, this judgment clearly explains that a woman IS the owner of her body.
“To choose or not to choose motherhood?”
That is definitely the question to both feminists and misogynists. Listen up, everyone, Bombay High Court has given an answer to the world!
Observing a hearing plea of an undertrial who is seeking to abort her 15 week-old foetus because her lover had abandoned her, the Bombay High Court has declared that the scope of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 should extend to “mental health” of a woman. (Say what? Puh-leez, pre-natal and post-natal blues ARE FOR REAL.)
So the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 allows a woman to undergo abortion if she is under 12 weeks pregnant. A woman can also undergo abortion with the consent of two medical practitioners if she is 12-20 weeks pregnant and there is a risk to the life of a woman or the foetus.
Justices VK Tahilramani and Mridula Bhatkar added that abortion, after all, is the basic right of women. To simplify it – a right is a right. Do you need a reason why you should be free to practice your religion? Well, no. Maybe then we should stop asking why women need a reason to decide whether they want to get pregnant or not!
India can soon join 61 countries around the world that have the least restriction on abortion if Bombay HC’s judgement is implemented.
Somewhere, a woman will not be forced to take up motherhood because an archaic system demands so.
However, what we SHOULD remember that pre-natal sex determination (which then leads to female foeticide) is a rampant, illegal, pan-Indian practice. Giving no reason for abortion might help increase the murders of massive numbers of unborn daughters.
If we do provide women to choose motherhood, provisions should be made to check if the resistance to motherhood is determined by the possibility of a girl child.
Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.