Found a link this and this through this.
Police in Orissa found an abandoned well with fetuses and baby body parts that point to female infanticide and gender based abortion. Before you read further, here are the disclaimers:
1. If these are female infanticides, these are despicable acts. And Criminal too.
2. If these are forced abortions, ditto.
3. This is not a troll post.
4. If you don’t believe in certain inalienable rights, don’t read more.
I will not deal with female infanticide and forced abortions, since legally, morally and ethically speaking, those are easy to resolve. The trickier issue is to understand and deal with female fetus abortions permitted by the mother. What mother would do that to her child, we ask in shock. Looking from the mother’s perspective, we get a different view altogether. What sort of life will her unborn daughter lead, she asks herself. A life of constant hunger, hard work, zero dignity, unhappiness, hopelessness and despair. A life in hell that she is living right now.
What mother would want that for a child? The mother thinks she is saving a child from all this. And she would not be wrong. This will prolly shock many, but I don’t see anything wrong with it. Abortions are legal in India, and demographic aspects aside, the mother has made the decision for entirely rational and practical reasons. From her point of view, she is doing the right thing.
But, surely a child is more than banal practicalities, I hear you reprimand me. They give us joy and all we need to do is to educate the mothers and fathers and grandpas and grandmas and the aunts and sisters and the brothers-in-law till they see what we see. A girl is just as much treasure as a boy. But it isn’t. For a whole host of reasons cited else where and those we already now. This is where they have drawn the line. Accept Boy, reject Girl. It’s that simple.
By now, I suppose I am completely black listed. But wait. We all draw lines. The question is where. Let me give you an example. A majority of the abortions done in the US are the result of a fetal abnormality such as Neural Tube defect or Down’s syndrome. Your routine prenatal visits cover these tests, typically in the 20th week. BigGeek and I had decided to have the child, no matter what. There are tons of parents who will tell you what a joy their Down’s child brings them. That they can lead fairly normal lives. But nobody listens. Most choose to terminate. Why? Because this is not what they wanted for a child or for themselves. They keep telling themselves it is the right thing to do, the child will be miserable and so on and so forth, justifying their decision.
And then there are those, to whom having a child at that point in time is just inconvenient- career wise, lifestyle wise. “We want to enjoy life as a couple for a little more time.” We have all heard that. How is this any less despicable than willfully terminating a girl fetus?
I think the only true solution to female infanticide and female fetus abortion is to give practical solutions. Let’s start by changing the International Adoption laws in India. It is nearly impossible for international parents (who are not Indian citizens) to adopt an Indian child today. I know in the US alone there are long lines at adoption agencies to get a baby. The adoptive families will be happy to give a sum of money to the mother of the girl child for her routine medical care, food etc, along with footing any other medical bills and then some. Isn’t this a sensible solution?
Look at the Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram link in the sidebar of this blog. BigGeek and I “adopted” a girl from there when Chip was born. We pay a yearly sum for all her expenses. Food, medical care, clothes, books, school. Everything. She lives with her biological parents, but they don’t have to spend a dime on her. The institute send us a report on how she is doing etc. More organizations like these would help too. Don't you think? Do you have other practical solutions to share?
I often wonder if there were in-utero tests to detect stupidity, homosexuality, depression, terminal childhood disease, what would you do? Where will you draw the line?
Updated: Watch Gattaca
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Found a link this and this through this.