Mrs. Y and the Right to Life

The wise judges of the Bombay High Court have decided that Mrs. Y’s plea to abort her fetus with congenital heart blockage shall not be granted. For over two days now, news papers and news channels have gone to town with the story, asking the question – should Mrs. Mehta be allowed to abort her fetus? But the real question that should have been asked is – who gave government the right to trespass into an expectant mother’s womb? For, that is what any law that imposes controls or penalties on attempts at aborting the fetus does.

The pro-life vs. pro-choice debate has been done to death in the West without any agreement being reached. And repeating those arguments in toto is not going to serve any purpose. But the fact remains that there is a huge difference between killing a baby and aborting a fetus. Babies live, and can survive, outside the mother’s womb. Fetuses don’t, and can’t. The viability argument doesn’t work, because even if a fetus is viable, the only way people can get it out of the expectant mother, in face of her opposition, is by invading her body. Not the case with babies – they are already alive and outside her body. Hence, to equate abortion and murder is not only vicious, but criminal.

To all those bleeding hearts – NGOs, people who have framed such monstrous laws and those who pass judgment based on such laws, and Catholic priests who try to insert their view of morality into law books – who are running around supporting the fetus whose life is 100% dependent on the mother as long as it is inside in the womb, viability be damned, I can say only one thing – when it is their turn to have babies or be involved with them, and they find, to their horror that the fetus is damaged and is never going to have a normal life, I hope they will then understand what the Mehtas are going through. Only the wearer knows where the shoe pinches.

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