Friday, August 08, 2008

Link to Express piece

Here's a link to the piece that appeared in the Indian Express yesterday (Thursday, Aug 7th, 2008) entitled Whose Right Is It Anyway? I thought it might be worth providing a link on account of the comments from people who read the story there, then came here and found the article on Naga Naresh.


gt said...

from a medical point of view pregnancy is almost a "disease" if you will. it makes a woman sick as she grows something in her body till it is finally rejected...... generally by the delivery of a health child. (thank god 4 the internet th@ i can say it like this!)

when does life "begin"? er it began probably 3 or 4 billion years ago. today a living sperm cell, fuses with a living ovum to "continue" the process of life. in the first trimester of pregnancy (12 weeks) - its all fair game - easy to abort if required. not much of an issue (please note - the heart actually starts to beat by 4 or 5 weeks).

2nd trimester (till 24 weeks after the big bang) ones entering murky waters because if one takes out the fetus it will die. for neurobiologists, around week 22 - 24 is when the wiring of the brain starts to get consolid8ed. week 25 - is when it would be in principle possible to actually pull out a kiddie and put it on life support and probably, nay usually, if it lives - it'll be ok. so termin8ing a pregnancy this l8 might indeed be akin to murder in the sense that you are actually killing a being with a brain. the big problem though is that the life of mommy is in peril due to the actual operation of abortion at this stage. normally docs wouldn't do this unless the mother's life is in acute danger. (and ofcourse, the fact that metha's baby is seen to have congenital problems so l8 is most un42n8)! so week 25 isn't a good time to be putting the lady on the bloc regardless of whether the child might have issues. the crucial factor is the danger to her life so l8 in the game.

and much more to boot are the "ethical" considerations. pro life? pro choice? i saw a sticker on a girl's car "if you can't trust me with the choice, how can you trust me with the child?" & i thought.... couldn't be more succinct. 2day embryonic stem cell research is in the limelight and as usual every wise cat has an opinion... uninformed and nonsensical as is prone to be the malady of the masses. & 2 end, i just read about unwanted pregnancies - only anal intercourse is 100% effective, even abstinence failed - at least once! gt

Marginalien said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marginalien said...

Quite an end! You make a good point -- esp re pregnancy being a sort of disease, the unborn being treated by the mother's body as a foreign object -- which of course it IS ... The mother doesn't even know the name of her tiny tenant, let alone what she/he will look like, talk like, be like.

I am extremely pro-choice, as it happens (I mean ... yah. Of course). And I believe life begins with conception -- i.e., I think every abortion is a murder. I think every mother-to-be must have the right to make the choice to abort.

It's just that, after a certain point in a pregnancy -- and who can say for sure when that point is? Finally, it's subjective to the mom-to-be -- the new entity begins to have rights in the same way as if it were outside the host's body. I don't know whether this is mystical or not, but I do think most mothers transition between not being really conscious of their tenant to thinking about it as a "someone". I think, after this point, it becomes criminally wrong to destroy this person. From this point on, there's no difference between wanting to destroy the UNborn because it has a potential birth defect and wanting to destroy a NEWborn for the same sorts of reasons. As indeed millions of Indian parents DO, when they destroy their unwanted daughters at birth.

Awadhesh said...

I appreciate the most appropriate analysis of this issue.

Even the most learned and experienced people made the mistake of not seeing this as a murder.

In fact, its not the matter of what a particular person "THINKS" ie. whether one considers Abortion as MURDER or not. Its a matter of a child's life. And in spite of what some thinks about Abortion, the fact is that it is more gruesome than Murder, simple because the victim has the least defense. Even if it is done on the first day of pregnancy it still amounts to a murder. :-(

Hemant said...

hi manjula, if only all of the 79% who are pro abortion in that poll could see a 7 month baby, as i do often, they would have another thought coming their way. on the other hand, in this hyper-consumeristic age, where choice and gratification is all, perhaps not.
what is most alarming is the abject ignorance expressed at all levels about the disease's morbidity. the fetus in all likelihood will have a long and uneventful life. the article in HT on how bloggers 'support' the woman's right to abort , had the author of the piece saying how it was after all only a two inch thing. to set the record straight, at 26 weeks its over 13 inches.
we live in crappy times.

Marginalien said...

Hello and thanks awadhesh and thanks hemant, too. Hemant, I suspect you are quite correct to believe that the 79%-ers would remain unmoved even if they could see how well-formed a 26-week-old fetus is. Perhaps the pressure of urban living has created a type of citizen who prefers to block out all complex emotions in favour of the monorail Get Ahead Express.

Maybe they have no choices? Maybe no-one tells them there are other ways?


Below is a little internet fable of the kind that routinely does the rounds of the Net -- it arrived in my in-box just moments before I saw your message, Hemant -- and it seems almost eerily appropriate, so I'm posting it here.

The person who sent it to me has no connection at all to the Mehta abortion issue and would not have heard about it or read my piece. So it's just ... one of those things. Messages across the blogiverse.


An elderly Chinese woman had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which she carried across her neck.

One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water.

At the end of the long walks from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water.

Of course , the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments.

But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the woman one day by the stream 'I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house.'

The old woman smiled and said; 'Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side? '

'That's because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them.'

'For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table.
Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house.'
Each of us has our own unique flaw. But it's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding.

You've just got to take each person for what they are and look for the good in them.

SO, to all of my cracked pot friends, have a great day and remember to smell the flowers on your side of the path!

And send this to any or all of your Cracked Pot friends.

Don't forget the Cracked Pot that sent it to you ...

gt said...

and a 100 years l8r, granny was crooked and gnarled and limping all over when she was visited by her li'l niece who kept asking her about the flowers and granny told her the cracked pot story. she explained too - that since one of the pots was so much heavier than the other - she had developed a limp due to the asymmetry but she did it all to make cracked pot happy. to which the li'l niece asked - "but granny why didnt you switch the pots on altern8 days & that way you could have had flowers on both sides?" morale: we all might have cracks and flaws but its the pot that makes us interesting. best wishes (ps i will be in dhelli 28 aug for 3 days. r u around?) gt

Hemant said...

i have recieved that email forward too.
what is happening is that, i suspect, a new kind of fascism rising fast. one that is linked to globalisation and consumerism, that blocks all real heterogeniety. to be well behaved consumers we all have to think alike and buy alike and be alike. to have the germ of 'depth' and complexity in our lives is to become a rebel in this globalised world.
it's all linked somehow, methinks...