Pro-Choice or Pro-Life?

As Akay pinged me like she usually does, I responded with a cheery Hi! A couple of lines later, she asked if I was following the Niketa and Harsh Mehta news story. I was. You can read more on the case/story here.

While I have opinions on some matters, Akay is the one who has a stand on almost every thing. She is a brilliant debater and can zone in on uncomfortable questions with unerring accuracy. I love her specifically for this trait of hers. She makes me think and re-evaluate my choices. Like a Devil’s advocate she argues merits and demerits of my stance. More often than not, I end up saying “You are right!”.

Today however as short as the discussion was, I ended up feeling more pro-choice than ever. I have often followed the pro-life/pro-choice debate without actually feeling passionate about it. Since it was something I have never experienced I couldn’t react to it emotionally. The past years, seeing my nieces and nephews born, something in me treasured the health and vivacity in their eyes. I watched as mothers struggled when their children were sick. I felt the heartache, the trauma and the emotional pain they went through.

Following Niketa and Harsh Mehta, my heart goes out to them. I ache of the days ahead where they will end up struggling hard to establish a normal quality of life for their beloved child. I really don’t care what the law says. I strongly feel the woman has the right to choose if she wants to bring a child into the world knowing it will suffer. Having said that, I know there will be someone who asks does that mean female foeticide is justified? In my view I find that practice disgusting and have no words to trade for such an argument. I realize it is a grey area and opinions are bound to change with circumstances but in circumstances like the one Niketa finds herself, I am pro-choice.

What are you? Pro-Choice or Pro-Life?

13 comments

  1. Before answering the question, lets try to take a step back and analyze this whole case. Niketa has a diagnosis from a hospital (which in itself seems to be questionable now, with the typographical error and stuff) that the child might have congenital heart problem. I agree that living with such a disability might not be easy but then my question is simple, what if you got to know that the child has a congenital problem, a minute after it was born as against the womb – won’t the decision be different? Why should it be different for a baby (I refuse to call it foetus, it is a thriving baby that has a fair chance to survive if born and given enough care at 26 weeks) in the womb and the minute it is out of it? What if science advances so much that we can find out the IQ of the unborn baby – will it be ok for parents to abort the kid if the IQ level is not upto mark; who is to say no as it comes down to – their baby their choice attitude. Today it is congenital heart issue, what is it going to be tmw – one would never know. And saying yes to this case, would just set a really bad precedent.

    Another argument I have seen people make is the quality of life of the kid and the parents. What if your parents or your spouse or your child undergoes an accident or develops an incurable disease or disability later in life – is the solution kill them to end their and your suffering? For me, there is no difference between an unborn child and a born one – it is my child after all and I will do all I can to save, protect and provide the child a fair chance with life.

    As I read in some other blog, God gives you the suffering for you to bear and knowing you can bear; so if you are to bear the cross of having a disabled child, so be it is my take on the whole issue.

    With regards to the generic question of pro-choice or pro-life, the more I think about it, I am not sure. I am definitely pro-choice when it comes to a rape victim or teenage pregnancy. In other cases, I am not – so I guess it is based on individual instances.

    Anyway, sorry to take up so much of your comment space – guess I should have made a post out of this šŸ™‚

  2. Laksh, I am wishy washy when it comes to this issue. It’s simply too hard to take a stand.

    @ Akay: Unfortunately, the first “what if” hypothetical scenario is totally out of question in this case because a diagnosis has already been made. Decisions such as these are too complicated to base them on hypothetical situations.

    I feel bad, very bad for the couple. It must be such a harrowing experience to let go of the child in the first place and then to have the whole world discuss this case… what a scar for lifetime!

  3. As I told you over chat Laksh, in this particular case, I am pro-choice. As Suman says, it is tough enough for the parents as such with the whole world debating this. My heart really goes out to them!

  4. I think…Ok, I am Pro-Life here. To defend my vision of this particular case, In today’s world you could see atleast 3 advertisements in a week for some or other kid undergoing a heart surgery or some or other transplantation from these so called middle class people asking for donation. (I’m talking about those of genuine in nature which asks you to draw a dd or cheque to the particular speciality of the hospital. I personally know these specialist surgeons waive off their doc fees in these particular cases.) I am unable to differentiate a live born baby from a swimming foetus which started struggling in the womb itself. The Couple are not going to know whether it will sustain the whole 40 weeks having to struggle…Until it sees the world. The baby (or ok the foetus) may decide not to struggle anymore and might stop breathing even before that, which is just going to be an intra uterine demissal or a still birth or induced abortion or any medical term they may use – an equivalent procedure to the insisted abortion. Now what if the baby is born alive with a congenital disorder to the dismay and disability of the parents to be financially, emotionally be supportive…They can very well start now with so many prevailing medical institutions which offers free services in certain conditions, to aid themselves. I believe in generous hearts even today…C’mon people we are not that mechanical. I wish and Pray for Niketa’s baby to be born ruling out that “least chance” of being congenitaly handicapped. She is gonna be okay…

  5. I’m definitely pro-choice on this. It must be so hard for the parents but they want the best for their child. As for the what if scenario’s I’m sure if there is a way to prevent the what if scenario’s anybody would do it. If it is destined to happen, you will accept it as fate and do the best you can. In this case they know before hand.

    Just to give you a real instance I had a neighbour in Delhi, whose son 6 year old at that time fell from 2 stories. At that time she prayed hard that somehow the child survives. The boy survived but his limbs were not functioning and he was mentally challenged
    for life. Both parents worked so hard to get his limbs to function and for him to develop in other areas. But whatever said and done he could never lead a normal life. It would pain the mother so much to see her son struggling for the most basic tasks like going to the bathroom. She once told us “I wish he had not survived the fall”. It is not easy for any parent to say that but it must be paining them so much everyday seeing their son going thru so
    much of suffering and not being able to lead a normal life like other kids.

    The reason why I quoted the above incident is given the “choice” nobody would like to see their loved ones suffer. If it is fated to happen, you will accept and do ur best.

    Another thing abt quality of life. Don’t our parent want the best quality of life for us or we expect the same for our children. So why is it different if the couple want a better quality of life for their child.

    my 2 cents.

  6. Pro-Choice or Pro-Life? It is a very difficult decision, I don’t know what to say on this Laksh. As a parent myself if I have to be very honest then the answer would be seeing/holding a baby is very different from the foetus. I was excited about the baby, I was eagerly waiting for (it) to arrive but the minute I held him it was very different, he was alive the motherly instinct is still growing as he is growing . But I did not have the same love and affection for the foetus. Before having the baby I would only dream of giving him the best I can, imagining how my life is going to change, I was scared if I would be able to handle him and I was enjoying the pampering and affection I was getting at that moment. Though this is a difficult decision I go with pro-choice.

  7. I think we should trust educated, informed parents to do what is best for their child – especially when they are in full possession of their sanity and sobriety. I have been pro choice on the issue of euthanasia too.

  8. @Arch: I expected you to be pro-choice. šŸ™‚
    @Madhuram: Agreed! It is one thing to speculate and another to be actually faced with the choice
    @Akay: Well put like I said in my original post. Like others mention, hypothetical situations are well! hypothetical. I infer in Niketa’s shoes you would not have thought about getting an abortion.
    @Suman: I heart what you say. I am not taking a stand either. The circumstances dictate what I would do in each situation. If I found I were pregnant and I am mentally not ready for the responsibility of parenthood, I would not think of abortion simply because I feel it is a choice of convenience. Like Akay says in the case of rape or congenital abnormalities or knowledge that my child will live to suffer for the rest of its life will make me more accepting of abortion.
    @Apar: I know. I feel sorry for them and their unborn child.
    @Deepa: I beg to differ with all respect. My view is that I cannot bring a child into this world knowing I will have to depend on the generosity of strangers for the life of my child. So long as I am alive I have the onerous responsibility of providing what I can for my child. What happens after I die?
    @Archana: I totally agree with what you say. This is another reason why I do not find mercy killing abhorrent.
    @Mads: Very well put Meeta. K read your comment and said she says exactly what I think.
    @Roop: I did follow your post and I agree.
    @Usha: Nail on the head! You said what I wanted to say very precisely. šŸ™‚

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