Mr. and Mrs. Mehta could have got the job done illegaly. They could have bribed some doctor to kill the foetus. There is nothing wrong if they don’t want a child with congenital heart disease.
The couple did NOT get the job done illegaly, like so many others in India do. The reasons for illegal child abortions are of course different. In most of the cases, the reason isn’t even close to being as genuine as this couple’s. Some of them don’t want a child merely because it’s a girl. Usually by the time you know the gender (gender disclosure is illegal at the first place), you have already crossed the legal limit of pregnancy (I guess that stands at 20 weeks).
Mrs. Mehta has crossed the legal limit too. She is more than 20 weeks pregnant (by a month). She knows that her child is not going to be healthy. Sadly, she knows it only after she has crossed the legal limit. Was it her fault that she came to know about it late? No. The doctor’s could figure out the problem only a little late. Then should she be forced to let go of her dream of giving birth to a healthy child? The law allows one to go for abortion, even after the legal limit has been crossed, only if can be proved that the mother’s life could be in danger. She cannot prove that. But does she need to?
A couple tries to get a rightful thing done legally and what does Bombay high court do? It shows the couple a piece of paper which says you cannot abort after 20 weeks till mother’s life is in danger. An excuse of an outdated (read 37 years old) law to force a family to have a child against their wish? It’s the couple who is going to raise the child, godammit, and they aren’t even asking for a permission to abort the child because it’s going to be a girl or because they suddenly had a mood change and didn’t want an extra member in the family. Forget about everything else. Isn’t it genuine enough a reason, when the would-be parents know they don’t have enough money to pay for a pace-maker that needs to replaced every five years? This is such a personal decision!
You know what I think? I think that the couple lost the case only because it didn’t/couldn’t hire a good lawyer. I hope that someday someone sets things right. The story for now is over. I don’t know why the couple didn’t go for an illegal solution to the problem. They probably took it to their ego, when some doctor refused to abort the child even after telling them that the child would be born with defects. They probably were convinced that they had the ‘right’ to get rid of a baby they didn’t want to raise. Or they simply had the guts to fight for justice. In my opinion, they do have the right. In the opinion of law, they don’t. Can someone fuck this law please?
Do you know what the minster had to say over the case? “As it is today, going by just one case, I do not think the law can be amended“.
Hello minister, there is just one case, because unlike so many couples who kill the foetus everyday illegaly, the Mehtas had the guts to go by law and file a case. Salute their guts like the rest of the nation and grow up. We all change with time. So should the laws.