Monday, August 3, 2009
Should a pregnant, mentally challenged woman who was raped be allowed to motherhood or should her unborn child be aborted as she conceived after being raped? The Supreme Court has stayed order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court which had ordered immediate termination of the woman’s pregnancy. The girl is an orphan who was raped, by the staff of a Nari Niketan in Chandigarh. After the expiry of the 20th week of pregnancy, it is illegal to abort a foetus.
The lawyer who argued the case on behalf of the girl said that the girl is 19 to 20 years old and has an IQ of a 7-9 years old. The girls lawyer argued that unless a mother expressed her consent of termination of her pregnancy its illegal. The lawyer of the victim also reminded the bench that India was a signatory to the UN convention which takes care of the rights of mentally challenged persons.
The Bench conceded that the girl was not in a position to take care of herself and her child. "The foetus is fine and does not appear to suffer from any deformity. We cannot say for sure whether the child will be mentally retarded. The pregnancy is in an advanced stage. Moreover, if someone agrees to take care of the mother through the pregnancy and the child when it is born, then why should she be deprived of motherhood". The Bench, which ordered stay of the HC order, said it would soon come out with a detailed judgment on the case.
With full respect to the SC judgement, in my opinion i dont think the girl should have been allowed to carry on with her pregnancy. She is not mentally ready to take care of the child and it what kind of future will that child have. Its said that she refers the baby as "Bhaiya"(brother). I know the state should take care of her and the child but lets be honest they wont. With giving birth to the child the girl will also go through a lot of changes and it can lead to more problems for that girl. The girl is in no position to decide if she wants to carry on with this pregnancy or not with an IQ of a 7 or 9 years old. Thats why its so important to implement the law at the right time and in the right way. If it had been done i am sure termination would be possible.