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Mehta case

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I have been following Mehta’s case on news lately. For those who don’t know, Niketa Mehta is pregnant and the foetus is found to have a congenital heart defect. The Mehtas do not want the baby and want to get it aborted. India’s abortion law does not allow this because Niketa is beyond the permissible 20-week in her pregnancy. Mehtas are challenging this law and want to be considered as an exception and let the foetus be aborted.

The high court dismissed their plea. It says aborting this foetus amounts to mercy killing. If the child was born and then found to have this heart defect, one wouldn’t kill it, right? How is it any different if the child is in the womb? I completely agree with the case ruling but what bothers me is the abortion law itself.

The abortion law says a mother can abort her foetus if she is under 20-week in her pregnancy. If she is beyond that, then she is allowed to abort only if pregnancy poses a threat to her life. What doesn’t make sense to me is this 20-week line. Who decided this and on what basis? As far as my little medical knowledge goes, the foetus’s heart starts beating in the 8th week of pregnancy (Correct me if I am wrong) itself, if not earlier. From then on, the foetus is alive – with a heart beating fast and furious. So, whether you abort the baby in your 15th week of pregnancy or 22nd week of pregnancy, it still amounts to mercy killing.

Secondly, doctors recommend an anomaly scan in the 22nd week of pregnancy. This is where the Niketa’s baby’s heart defect must have surfaced. If our law wants to give the freedom of abortion to parents, then either extend the 20-week border to 24 weeks so that parents can get the anomaly scan done within that time or doctors should recommend the anomaly scan before 20 weeks.

J J hospital gave the first report stating that the chances of baby being handicapped are high and then later denied it by saying it was a typo! Who on earth believes this? Even if this was a typo, the Mehtas would have discussed the situation with their doctor before filing a case, right? You just don’t read the report and decide on the spur of the moment that you want to fight the law? The story of Mehta’s case is becoming messier by the day.

I really wonder how this lady decided on the abortion. Didn’t she question her own decision whenever she felt the baby’s kick in her womb? Didn’t she clutch her tummy and cry and ask herself how she can kill her own baby? Did she sleep with a clear conscience the day she decided to get the abortion done? Is she sad that they cannot abort the foetus? Or is she happy that her baby’s chances of having a normal life are more?

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Written by Anaamica

August 6, 2008 at 2:20 pm

Posted in Events, Life, Opinion

Tagged with ,

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