Is taking life your idea of entertainment?

In which case I finally understand why our newspapers only report on violence and death. Rarely any good news. I’ve written about abortion time and again. This time though, I am rather horrified. Here’s an online reality show that lets you decide if the contestants should keep their baby or abort. So yes, its fictitious, but really, why do we need others to vote in on a topic that isn’t any of their business?

I thought Rakhi Ka Swayamvar and Rahul Dulhaniya Le Jayenge were bad enough, but this takes the cake. Marriage is an important enough decision to take without a bunch of idiotic, jobless strangers with no life of their own, voting on it. But to even let a bunch of strangers imagine that they have a right to vote about a right that involves taking innocent life, makes my blood curdle.Β  How is that pro-choice in anycase? Why exactly are we turning everything of any importance into something tasteless and puerile?

And while on the topic of taking your own child’s life, how about this one? A 16 year old Turkish girl buried alive for talking to boys. Now this is one kid they might as well have aborted if this is how much she mattered to them- apparently her lungs were full of soil when they dug out the body. I hope the family rots in hell. Even hell seems too good an option.

While on the abortion bit – another link sent by a reader on the connection between careers and abortion. I don’t know what to think. It seems to ridiculous and tenuous a connection to build. So all you worthies and my trolls, what do you have to say about this?

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98 thoughts on “Is taking life your idea of entertainment?

  1. MM,

    Abortion is awful and should only be the last resort. That much is obvious. However, to frame it as ‘taking your own child’s life’ is disingenuous & trivializes the horribly tough choice that many women have to make.

    I know there are people who have used abortion as a form of birth control and I have nothing but disgust for them, but for most women abortion is a VERY VERY tough and heart breaking choice that they make when they have no other choice left.

    • Hey Broom,
      I agree that abortion is awful and that its a very tough choice. I said that in my post too. But that is it that makes the choice so tough – the awareness that its your own child’s life you have to end, right?

      You can phrase it any way you like to make it sound better… but what is the bald truth that hits you in the face when confronted with the situation.

      With my family complete and having gone back to work, I now live in terror of having to put my money where my mouth is. But this is what keeps coming back to me – that if I have to ever make that choice, it will mean taking my own child’s life. So yes, this is my personal opinion and how I view it for myself. I’m quite pro-choice where others are concerned. its my self that i am the hardest on

      • It does mean taking your own child’s life, MM. I agree. I had to terminate (the doc didn’t use the word abortion for some reason) my pregnancy in the 28th week when we found the fetus had hydrocephalus (fluid in the brain). If I wanted to keep it, I was guaranteed to have a 100% retarded child, possibly with physical deformities. If I was lucky, it would be still-born.

        I chose to terminate. 32 hours of labor. Fetus went breach for 2 hours. And then it was over. It’s been 6 months and I’m still not over it. It took me a year to get over my first miscarriage (11th week). I don’t think I will ever get over this one.

        P.S: Not related to this post or the comment, but for women reading this: If you’re pregnant, please please insist for a full head-to-toe scan of your fetus after the 12th week. Hydrocephalus can be seen as early as that. It cannot be treated, but at least it would be a D&C instead of the nightmare I went through.

        • ohmigod. i’m so so sorry. i dont see that you had an option in this case. and i dont know about getting over it. so often you remember a good meal you had in a restaurant, 15 years ago. how then can you be expected to forget something your body created? something you invested so much emotion in?

        • P, I am very sorry to hear about what you went through. Just wanted to let you know, I personally can understand what you are going through. Please take good care of yourself, and don’t be in a hurry to get over it or forget about it. I hope you heal in a healthy way, irrespective of whether or not you will be able to forget about this.

          I am feeling terrible to say this to you right now, and hope you don’t misunderstand my words and certainly hope my words don’t hurt you in any possible way. But, I have just one small request to make to you and I will try to do so in the gentlest possible way! Please don’t make it more harder for yourself and for other women who have gone through abortion for whatever the reason may be, by saying that to abort means to take away your child’s life! At this moment, I don’t care for technical and medical facts. All I care for is women such as yourself and me, who need to heal emotionally, which is VERY important for us to be healthy and good mothers in the future! See, just like how you call your first miscarriage as ‘miscarriage’ and not ‘death of a child’ (I am very very sorry if these words hurt you, but I really do want you to feel better, and hence I am saying this to you), it is important for women to not blame themselves anymore by constantly thinking that they ended their child’s life by aborting a fetus! No body says abortion is an easy thing to do, not even pro-choice people. It is a touch decision and we do it by keeping in mind even what is BEST for the fetus (future child), and not just our lives. It is indeed a very touch choice. And even after making the choice (no matter what it is), women’s lives are changed completely. So, please try to help yourself and other women to be good mothers in the future by not saying that they killed their own children!

      • The mad momma, my personal opinion about you – you are not just ‘quite pro-choice where others are concerned’, but from what I have read of you, you are completely pro-choice! Even when it comes to you, you CHOSE to have babies, and you are certain that you will always CHOOSE not to have an abortion. That is it! This is what is exercising of choice! I am totally pro-choice and this is what myself and every other pro-choice person I know of, is fighting for – choice of the women whether they want to have an abortion or to have a baby! I am sure you know all this already, but just your readers, I wish to say something, not about abortion or choice, but only about we pro-choice people! We are grossly mistaken! Pro-choice doesn’t just mean women having the choice to abort, but it also means women having the choice to continue with their pregnancies. Both the reproductive choices are equally necessary for all women to have. Pro-choice people are not only against women being forced to have babies, but we are equally against women being forced to abort! The choice is of the woman!

        The mad momma, you made your choice, to have babies, and you would certainly not let anyone force you to abort! At the same time, you would never force anyone else to abort or not to abort, right? You are exercising your right to choose, and you are letting other’s have theirs. That is exactly what being pro-choice means!

        For your readers: Pro-choice does not mean pro-abortion, and neither does it mean anti-life. It is completely ok if you don’t want to label yourself as anything, and wish not to brand yourself as pro-choice. But, it’s only when you want to and try to take away the right to choose of other women, that I would have a problem with you! I am pro-choice and I want to have a lot of babies! πŸ™‚

        • let me put it this way – i am pro-well-thought-out-choice. I know people keep saying oh abortions are really tough – and they are for a large number of us. but for a gazillion people, its not that tough, and it hurts me to think that as a society we’re not valuing life as much as we should.

          as for miscarriage – it is the death of a child, isnt it? i have a friend who keeps the ultrasound pics in her wallet and talks of the baby that might have been all the time.

          sometimes i think we quibble over semantics and ignore what the essence is. which is life.

          • “but for a gazillion people, its not that tough”

            I am really curious, on what basis can you say this mad momma? How can we be so sure that it was a very easy thing to do for most people who have an abortion? And how can we be sure that most of these women think of abortion no more than they do of a facial, and just move on in life at a snap? Isn’t there a possibility that because abortion is such a taboo, many of these women just sweep their ‘issues’ under the carpet and act like nothing has happened?

            having an abortion and dealing with it after it’s been done, might be more difficult for some women than it was for me, and easier for other women than it was for me. But, I can say out of personal experience that MOST women are more affected by abortion than what they seem on the outside. These women require nurture and care, and not punishment of being accused as murderers. And not just the aftermath, but even while making the choice, more things are running in their minds than one can even imagine… and if the woman has managed to block all these thoughts while making the choice, then it simply means she will need more time and care to recover later on!

            It hurts when people call these women as murderers of their own children, right at the time when the women need all the care and support they can find from their surroundings. It is even more cruel to just write off that these women don’t really require (or deserve) any help or support. I am yet to find a psychological expert who says that women who have had abortions can miraculously get back all the normalcy of their lives and health in just a snap with no support what-so-ever.

            • I am sure it was hard for you.. and I am sure it has been hard for others too. and i understand that there are dire circumstances when its necessary and those people get my sympathy.

              as for the others who dont get my sympathy – I have no basis other than some of the women I have met in the last 15 years who think its no big deal and have said as much. Just as you have your own basis steeped in your own experience.

              Are they sweeping it under the carpet and pretending they dont care? I cannot tell. I can only talk about what they say. and if a woman goes around acting as though it was no big deal and she doesn’t really care, how do you imagine that those of us who do feel it is a big deal, will have any empathy for her?

              Use that argument anywhere. If you do something that another doesn’t approve of, and show no remorse, pain, anything… then why expect to be treated with kid gloves? it is after all, free choice – not something that you were a victim of, like being mugged, raped or anything that you didnt consent to. Both, the sex and the abortion… are your own choice.

              Dont get me wrong. As I said, I am pro-choice. Mostly because I dont think a child should be born to parents who doesnt want it. Cant imagine anything more traumatic for the child. Neither do I imagine that every woman finds it as easy to have a facial – your words, not mine.

              But I do know that most of the unwanted pregnancies I’ve come across, are the result of carelessness… and to my mind, the man and the woman deserve a tight slap, not my sympathy, if they cant take adequate precautions when there are condoms, pills, IUDs, patches and a 100 other options available today.

              I dont like taking medicine and technology lightly. Its a very slippery slope. If you’re sure you dont want children, USE precautions. Tie up your tubes. Do what it takes. Prevention is better than cure.

    • Broom, I seriously think that people (women and men) who use abortion as birth control require professional help. And I am not condescending upon them, but I genuinely feel sorry for them because it’s very obvious that they are not completely normal emotionally or psychologically if they take the procedure of abortion for granted, and play it like it’s a game. Not only does it show that they already might be suffering from some psychological condition, but it is most probable that after going through repeated abortions they will certainly suffer long term mental distress of high degree. The more they refuse to admit or address this emotional and psychological scarring, the more danger they are causing themselves. I genuinely feel concerned for such people and hence I am not disgusted with them.

      But, you do make a very good point there, and I agree with you that framing of the words is very important when it comes to such sensitive issues which may (in this case) affect the emotional wellbeing of women who are trying to heal after having had an abortion.

  2. Wow – imagine living with the consequences of a stranger making your decision! i was struck by one thing in the link that u said – about how stuff an abortion is for a woman. i have a very close friend who had an abortion as a teenager. We have never spoken of it since but makes me wonder if she stills feels guilty/terrible/wonders what if?

    • 1) πŸ™‚ how does my view on abortion matter? YOUR view on abortion should matter to you

      2) Personally, I don’t know if I could do it. I know I had a pregnancy scare before I was ready to have kids and I went in for my tests knowing that I’d go through with the baby no matter how unprepared I was for it, emotionally, professionally and financially. Fortunately I wasn’t, so it didnt come to that.

      3) I am pretty much pro-choice in this matter as I am in most others, but as I’d written long ago, you’ve got to think of pregnancies as the consequence of sex. Not an accidental by-product. That makes a huge difference to the way in which you look at a pregnancy and further, what you choose to do about an unexpected one. It makes you stop looking at it as something hindering your life and start seeing it as part of life – one that you’ve got to make space in your life for. Atleast thats the way it was for me.

      4) as for people who use abortion as a form of birth control… the less i say about them, the better…

      5) you either are open to idea of a pregnancy or not. If you’re very 100% sure that you dont want kids – there are enough forms of birth control available. nothing is 100% safe – so use two if you’re that sure you dont want kids. and if you still mess around and don’t want to use condoms and dont want to go on the pill and dont want a permanent medical method or an IUD or blah blah… and still want to try the safe period and even stretch the dates on that count and end up pregnant – then you are just being irresponsible so refer to #4

      πŸ™‚ i hope i was clear enough this time.

      • and some more thoughts
        – i believe in letting people who have been irresponsible, go through with the pregnancy and maybe giving up the child for adoption. that way they’ll be more careful. it also gives them time to think over their decision and nine months to come to terms with it. even those of us who plan our pregnancies are usually in shock and denial when it happens because its such a big deal.
        – i know there are plenty of people who want to adopt newborns and this is what our laws need to address. speedier adoptions, better processes, better places for unwanted children, a better attitude towards unplanned pregnancies.you want to talk pro-choice – give the parents better choices. help for unwed mothers, support, counsellors.. whatever. it might sound like utopia but imho – that should be what we aim for
        – i believe that abortions should be kept legal because people should have that choice. but i also think they should be discouraged. maybe something like cigarette smoking. keep it legal but dont make it a happy, nice thing. we don’t want the death sentence for a rapist/murdered/terrorist. we want to go vegetarian to save animals. but we want to act as though taking our own kids’ life is okay? i think a change in attitude is the need of the hour
        – and finally – a lot more support. towards women, no matter what the final choice is. because if we’ve gone through counselling, help, an offer of adoption.. and we still dont want the baby – then its naturally their choice.

  3. Dear MM,
    I’m pregnant with my 3rd. When I had the ultrasound at 19 weeks and saw the baby fully developed, it made me sick to think of some people who would abort solely because they didn’t get the ‘boy’ they wanted. Reading about the Turkish girl was awful and the other woman’s blog post was just sad. It was especially sad that her own mother encouraged her to have an abortion. Having kids does mean that your career will take a hit — you would have to say no to a position that involves a lot of travel but with so many flexible/work-at-home arrangements, you can surely find something that allows you to balance work and family. I do agree with her that there is no ‘perfect’ time to become a parent — I have seen too many cases where women waited too long to have a baby and then couldn’t have one naturally.
    –NW

  4. This post made me del-urk again :-).I cannot imagine what kind of sick people would get involved in a reality show like that and how about the woman on the show!

    Regarding your last comment on careers and abortion, it is actually not so ridiculous. There are many people who do what the author has mentioned.Couples deciding to have an abortion as they did not think the timing was right, is more common than I (or you) would like to think. What I fail to understand is when the same couple has kids later don’t they wonder about the one they decided not to have?

  5. I read about that Turkish girl in the paper and was sick to my stomach. And the reality show is sick…such a personal choice…on TV? Yeeeeeuch.

    As for the connection between careers and abortion…I didn’t like that article…didn’t make any sense to me. It’s all very easy to criticise one’s choices in retrospect… In India, kids do undermine the chances of building a career…the way things are set up. It’s still the woman’s job to raise the child and make the sacrifices…so I think it’s her choice. Most men are still that half-tsp of semen.

    I have a friend who says that all the people who’re rabid pro-life should go do some work with the children who’re abandoned and relinquished by their parents…the suffering, abuse and pain these kids go through their whole lives…pro what life?

  6. Absolutely no comments… i dont know where exactly are we heading in the name of entertainment….

    Regarding the girl being buried alive, as u said hell also sounds too good an option for her family

  7. That is one of the most ridiculous and horrifying things I’ve heard. My position is that I’m pro-choice and so glad India doesn’t have the controversy about it that the US does! However, I also believe most women make the decision with a lot of difficulty – it should not be trivialised like this.

  8. Just realized that the stories are fictional – and not real people on whom one has to vote; however, even then, I believe it is a topic that should be addressed far more sensitively.

  9. When I was 18 a close friend at my hostel got pregnant. She was petrified and didn’t want to say anything to her parents. She and her boyfriend decided to abort the child. For whatever reasons she chose to confide in me and asked me for support. I too did not know what was right or wrong at that stage. We were all too frightened. They contacted some clinic where she underwent an abortion. I was there through it all with her. I don’t know how her boyfriend felt about it as I did not know him very well, and they separated soon after this happened.
    The point of this story is that I have always felt guilty about the baby I helped abort. I do not know exactly how she felt about it. We graduated, then she married someone else and moved far away. We have not kept in touch. The incident kept nagging at me, and when I did not conceive for nearly 7 years after marraige, I felt it was the curse of that baby. Now I have a thriving 8yr old girl, and sometimes I still remember that incident and feel sad.
    About the girl buried alive, it reminded me of a book I read by Jean Sasson. She writes about the life of the elite in Saudi arabia, and she speaks about just such an incidence. The young girl is caught talking to some boys, there is a family conference and the girl handcuffed, blindfolded, weighed down with stones and drowned in the family swimming pool. It was horrible reading about it. Who knows how many such things really happen? There was also a news item the other day about a village where there had been just the second baraat in 120 years. The girl survived purely because her parents had lost 3 boys before her, Such blatant female foeticide and nothing is done about it.
    We should feel thankful for any small mercies we might have in our live.
    About the reality shows, the less said the better. Utter nonsense.
    Sorry for such a long comment but I couldn’t help myself.

    • *phew*
      hugs. please dont think of it as the curse of the unborn baby – you know thats not true. that said, i’m just like you. these things play on my mind and the guilt brings me down to my knees. i often believe that if you dont respect life, it will come back to bite you someday. i’m so glad you have your daughter now. and i do hope she’s made her peace with it.

      and this brings me back to my point. at 18 we all knew we SHOULD use protection. If you’re old enough to do it, you should be old enough to know how to do it safely. why dont we have more sex ed classes in schools?

      • No somehow I can’t seem to be able to put that past away. My daughter does not know anything of this of course, and I don’t intend telling her ever. My husband does know about it though. He has met this other girl before we got married and I told her about it quite recently. He reserved his comments, though.
        Yes, I agree with you that schools should give sex education. They need to do it sensitively, though. They also need to include parents in the whole process, because I believe children should feel at ease coming to their parents with question. My daughter has started coming to me with some questions already and I try to answer her truthfully as far as possible without giving too much information and try to impress upon her that these things are best discussed with me if she has any doubts. It is all around you and difficult to avoid. I just send up a little prayer that she will come out alright.

  10. MM,
    As far as the reality show is concerned — it’s so not ‘real’. It’s 200% scripted and plays to the gallery as Rahul Dulhaniya etc does [ btw I googled some of those cows in RDLJ (yes I have no life) and a few of them have been beauty contest participants. So it’s all clear that they’re here only to realise their big B’wood dreams ] So whatever my views on abortion may be (and they’re very hazy now given that I’m not a mother), I wouldn’t spare a second thought about the ethics behind this show.

    About the Penelope Trunk episode, I admire the conviction with which she wrote about her past choices. Recently she also sent some folks in a tizzy when she tweeted that she was miscarrying. Sharanya wrote about it here ( http://bit.ly/1UpXB7 ) and I agree with every word she says

    • yes – it is all fake. but my objection is to the show itself. how did this become something that others should vote on? it just takes the whole pro-life pro-choice argument to another level.

      havent read penelope’s tweets but i did read the link you’ve left. i disagree with sharanya though. i dont think its about language and semantics. its the whole difference between you doing anything -be it slapping a friend or drunk driving and saying – hey, i’m glad its over. we’re talking about the attitude here and not the words used. so you do something and you express relief instead of guilt (and here I’m not expecting her to express guilt) – why do you call it a function of language? its not? its the entire difference between saying i’m sorry i did that… and saying – i dont care.

      i dont judge penelope for her relief. but i dont think sharanya made a valid point.

      • I wouldn’t classify Penelope’s reaction to her miscarriage as “I-don’t-care”, it was more relief at nature taking it’s own course rather than getting the surgical procedure done where a 10-day waiting period was involved. In the Guardian article (linked to in the UV post), Penelope argues why it would’ve been a risk to have the baby considering the dangers like Down’s Syndrome etc. The point of hers that stood out was why there should be any “correct” emotion for a miscarriage (or any thing/loss for that matter). It is a sensitive issue for a majority of women, but just because she tweeted it in a meeting, she was accused of trivialising it.

        Sharanya merely concurs with her on this point saying that the entire controversy was totally unnecessary.

        • hey shivani – as i said – i couldnt open the link so i have no idea what penelope said. all i know is that i didnt agree with sharanya’s example – ie the vagina comment. THERE its just semantics.

  11. *Shudder*!
    A friend underwent abortion when tests showed the baby was deformed.As you said, there was nothing else she could do. Bringing up a child who would live for 5-6 years and that too in the hospital mostly would have been more cruel. That should be the only cause for abortion. Not the sex of the baby, not unprotected sex.

    Another friend aborted as her career was more important then. And she felt she was ‘ready’, something went wrong. Now she regrets. And nags every young couple she meets to not play with their kids’ lives.
    Gosh!

  12. so many things running through my mind, not sure what to talk abt! about the reality show…i didn’t bother spending too much time on the link really. i mean… it’s ridiculous!

    About the swayamvar – a show about a guy who allegedly beat up his ex-wife, a guy who ODed on cocaine or whatever and landed up in the hospital… and SEVENTEEN women wanting to me married to HIM…?! what the hell has the world come to?!

    Back to abortion…I’d like to say I’m pro-choice, in fact I’ve had such a bad falling out with another girl about it that we’re not even friends anymore. we were discussing abortion, and she brought religion into the matter and said that is God has allowed for it to happen, then it is His will and abortion MUST NOT BE ALLOWED! I was like, “excuse me, I don’t believe God said that. That’s what YOU believe. I don’t think that if a girl has been raped and gets pregnant cos of it, she should be forced to go through the pregnancy and keep the baby if she does not want to.” She disagreed saying it is all God’s will and “He has clearly told us…” and crap. I’m a strong believer in “live and let live” so i can’t take all this religious nonsense about MY god and YOUR god and stuff!
    So yes, pro-choice then? But then I think about those horrid people who choose to abort a baby because it’s a girl. People like that shouldn’t even be allowed to HAVE kids!

    • seriously – the whole rahul swayamvar thing makes me cry.

      – i dont think you can blame God – blame your raging hormones and your brain’s inability to ensure adequate birth control! that said – its not always as dire as a girl getting raped na? its almost 80% of the time, a couple thinking they’re in the safe period or they’ll pull out in time or some such shit. that is just irresponsible.

      live and let live is right. how about the baby’s right to live?
      also – look at shivani’s comment leading to sharanya’s post. its interesting to see how the opposite of pro-life, is pro-choice. what do people mean by pro-choice? the choice to abort, right? so why not pro lif and pro-abort? we’re so careful not to offend those who choose to abort. yet we dont want to state things as they are. taking a life is taking a life. now how you feel about that should be based on bare facts.. not on politically correct language. interesting how language works.

      but lets take this a step further – why is it okay to abort because you arent married/not ready for a baby yet/ blah blah – but not okay to abort if you want a boy and got a girl?

      • i don’t think it’s ok to abort if you’re not married or you’re “not ready”. i have PCOD and whenever i hear people complaining about monthly cramps and wishing they never had to go through it, i’d think about how i’d lovvve to go through the pain, if only i could have a normal functioning body! i love kids and if i got pregnant, as long as it’s a healthy baby, i’d have it, immaterial of whether i’m married or not. But that’s just me. now, at this moment in my life. i don’t want to impose my views on anyone else. This girl i was talking abt thinks that no one should be allowed to abort. She says even a deformed foetus has a right to live and it is murder to abort. and that you mustn’t abort, no matter what. this is disagree with. i’m not saying you MUST abort, but i think it’s kinder to abort, for the child and the parents. again, that’s just ME. it’s not an easy solution this. there is no clear-cut right or wrong path to follow. it has to be dealt with on a case-to-case basis.

        • about the baby’s right to live… yes, you’re right of course. the baby has a right to live. but how do you think a child’s life will be if the parents never wanted it, don’t have the ability to care for it? what about that 11 year old father in the UK? how do you think that kid will be taken care of? WHO will take care of it? what about people who use protection, but it’s not effective for whatever reason and they get pregnant? maybe they’re not married, maybe they don’t have the capacity to raise a child… i don’t know… i haven’t lived their life… how can i presume what is right and wrong for them?

          • i dont think we’re presuming what is right or wrong for the couple. we’re taking up for the unborn child’s rights, just as we speak up for seals in canada – right? life is life. its always valuable.

            which is why i said – if society is seeking change everyday, trying to be more humane, giving cats and dogs rights… then why not babies? why not aim for better homes for these babies instead of believing that taking life is the only solution to an unwanted pregnancy… no?

        • well in this case i guess its a matter of opinion. and she has a right to hers. just as you and i do. i guess the saving grace is that we cant impose our opinions on others and the worst or best we can do is simply disagree.

          • As long as it’s just their opinion, and does not affect my life in any way, I would really not bother them at all. But, when they want to take away my right to make my most vital, intimate and personal choices, I will speak up against them. And, where I live, people backed with extreme religious ideologies, are trying to do just that! My right to choose and in some places, even my right to use birth-control! I can’t shut myself up and let them do that. I will raise my voice against them of course, whether they are from the same religion as I am or from a different one. Moreover, dialog and debate are good, right?

      • I would like to reply to this. I think 99% of the time the decision to abort or not is taken for the woman by the other people in her life. What she wants is mostly disregarded, at least in our social setup. It could be pregnancy before marraige, because of rape, because of failure of or lack of contraption, wrong time of life, what have you. I think a woman will voluntarily want to have an abortion only if there is a major foetal abnormality or if the pregnancy is endangering her life. Even in such cases sometimes she wants to continue it. I think we should differentiate between what she wants and what she has to do. It is truly a difficult choice.

      • Interesting point! I think sex-determination is the root cause of all this. If a woman gets pregnant accidentally & does not want the baby for xyz reason (obviously irrespective of the sex) and decides on termination, it most likely happens in the earliest months & care is taken subsequently to ensure it doesn’t happen again. On the other hand, the gender of the baby is determined only in the later months when termination is both dangerous and illegal. Baby girl detected, aborted –> again baby girl detected… it just goes on till a male child is finally conceived, Overall, terrible for maternal health & mortality. And of course, the big picture of skewed sex ratio.

        P.S: Sorry for the comment-diarrhoea today πŸ™‚

      • No! Pro-choice does not mean pro-abort or just ONLY choice to abort! Pro-choice simply means pro-choice – choice to both, have babies and to abort. I have mentioned earlier already, pro-choice people are as much against forcing women to have babies as much as we are against forcing women to abort! This is NOT about political correctness or about getting offended. This is REALITY. It’s sad that people still don’t know what exactly pro-choice means. Pro-choice people are not pro-abort. In fact, one of the biggest causes taken up by pro-choice organisations is to reduce the number of abortions! Both by reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies and also by by providing support to women who want to go ahead with their babies, even when society and religion scorns them for having had pre-marital sex and getting pregnant out of wed-lock! You might not be aware of these objectives of the pro-choice movements. If you want to know more about these objectives, or require validation, please let me know and I will provide you with references too. Pro-choice people are not pro-abortion or anti-life. But, pro-life people are definitely anti-choice, because they indeed want to take away the reproductive choices of women! I am not passing any judgments. I am stating facts.

        And even while talking about life of the fetus, please please don’t mix the abortion debate with a serious criminal offense such as sex-selective-abortion! Sex-selective-abortion does not even deserve any any argument for or against it… time speaks for itself http://ibnlive.in.com/videos/110323/jaisalmer-girl-survives-infanticide-gets-married.html

        The right to live of the child argument is definitely welcome in the abortion debate, but this is the first time I am seeing someone make a reference to sex-selective-abortion and equating that to the abortion debate. In fact, I have not even heard fanatic pro-lifers who want to kill all the abortion providing doctors, make this analogy with sex-selective-abortions. This is appalling! I am by no means trying to be an internet-bully here, but I am actually shocked and that is what I have expressed!

        • no, I dont think you’re an internet bully, but I do believe its a fine line to draw when you say – oh its okay to abort because i have a promotion coming up… but not to say, i want to abort because its a girl. again – its the choice of the mother, right? Why do we assume that a lot of mothers dont want to abort girl children?

          to my mind, both are equal because they’re taking life for a personal reason that isnt life threatening. its still choice. and its still life being lost.

          to my mind, either you give people free choice to do as they please, or you don’t. you cant set conditions and tell them – hey, you can abort for these reasons, but not for those… right? that wouldnt be giving them choice.

          and maybe you haven’t heard this line of argument before, but hey, its always good to see other angles to an issue and realise how slippery a slope can get when you cease to value life.

          • There is a huge difference! Wide spread abortions based on race or gender of the fetus, will eventually lead to something almost equivalent to a genocide. Like how the trace of female kids was completely wiped out in those villages of Haryana and Rajasthan! Events of such consequences can’t even be said in the same breath as women’s reproductive rights. I doubt that I require to give any further explanation as to why there is no point in talking about sex-selective-abortions in a pro-choice/pro-life debate.

            But, just one last thing. It’s ridiculous to assume that women don’t contribute to sex-selective-abortions! It’s a criminal offense, and who ever is involved in such an act, men or women, should be put behind bars, except when it can be proved that the mother was physically forced to have the abortion, or was forced with significant threats!

            • oh i totally agree. trust me. i’m a huge advocate against female foeticide. but thats my point. its a larger picture you’re looking at. entire villages being wiped out.

              but we’re not talking mass are we? you dont want me to generalise and say all women who abort are heartless. you want me to stop and look at each individual picture and see that each of those women have a genuine reason why they dont want a baby.

              similarly I ask you – who are we to tell someone that they must have a girl child they dont want, when we dont want to tell another woman to keep the child she wants to abort for her own reasons? who are we to pick and decide that this reason has sanctity and that one does not?

              the consequences are different to you. but to me the consequences are equally dire. i feel we’re making it okay to take a life.. for some reason. which seems hypocritical in the face of fighting the death sentence, female foeticide and endorsing PETA

  13. TMM, Making a spectacle of abortion is peverse and your feelings of disgust are matched by so many of us.

    But the link on abortion and careers is a personal introspection on two difficult moments in the writer’s life. She remains conflicted and unsure of what she did. But she did make a choice. I really believe it is her right to make the choice, and as a society we have to give her that right without passing any judgement on her. And she does retain her right to introspect, to doubt, or even feel relieved days/years later.

    On a connected note is the fight of a nineteen year old mentally challenged girl to be allowed to continue with her pregnancy. I believe it is her right to decide however difficult the decision will be, both for her and for society! This article puts things into perspective – http://www.ijme.in/181de34.html

  14. Its a tough question. I would say, that its wrong to think of abortion, unless there is a really strong reason to support it. But then we get into the discussion of what is wrong for some is right for another…

    But at the same time, I would be pro choice. The reasons can be anything… and there is no one to judge whether they were worthy enough reasons…but the parents should have the choice.

    • i agree. but i also think that as a society we need to offer them more choices than just abortion. how about that as pro-choice?

      give them safe homes to have the kid and give it up for adoption. stop judging them for being unwed mothers/mothers who give up their kids – so that its easier to pick that option over abortion.

      • MM, if we want to remove the judgment around a woman choosing adoption for her child, then using more careful language goes a long way. Most adoptive families will cringe at the words “give up for adoption”…it’s more empowering to say “Place for adoption” or “make adoption plans”…if we’re saying a pregnant woman has a choice to opt for adoption instead of abortion, then let’s please use respectful words that reflect that choice. Did a post on Positive Adoption Language recently…
        http://starsinmeyes.wordpress.com/2010/02/10/the-power-of-a-word/

        • thanks for telling us that babe… always good to know what sounds better.

          that said – sometimes i feel we’re so busy focussing on the correct words to use that we forget about the correct thing to do.

  15. I think the only way I am ever going to have a child is if I get accidentally pregnant…the thought of a planned pregnancy scares the shit out of me and makes me feel extremely inadequate and unprepared to be a parent

  16. participation in Rakhi’s or Rahul’s swayamvar is simply a shortcut to fame and money on the small screen(apparently there is prize money involved). otherwise i don’t think girls are that stupid.

    on abortion, i strongly believe that its the right of mother to decide whether she wants the baby or not.

    • i dont think we’re ever arguing that. i never have. i just believe that in today’s day and age you have to be exceptionally careless and stupid to get accidentally pregnant … and the only reason people take risks is because they know they have the abortion escape route.

  17. Not surprised at all.

    You ever see a film called ‘Death Race 2000’? Cult B-film, made back in the 70s. All about a public, sponsored car race where you get points for the number of people you kill and the most innovative way you do it.

    At the time, 35 years ago, it was dismissed as fantasy. Give it another 20 years, and I wouldn’t be too sure it doesn’t come true.

    Think about it – you have reality shows where you can choose singers, dancers, spouses, vote for people to eat bugs, show people your genital warts, have somebody remake your wardrobe or your kitchen or your body shape or your bratty child’s temperament….

    Nope. Not surprised at all. Utterly dismayed, but not suprised.

    • oh gosh – funny you should mention it. i saw it a few days ago and as rivetting as the races were, i was horrified by the concept. the OA tells me I need to lighten up and accept it as creative expression :-/

  18. Actually, I don’t think the show invites people to vote on the choice to be made by the women. It actually invites audiences to share their stories, and discuss, and the stories move forward based on the audiences comments and opinions. The shows producers say one of the aims of the show is to encourage people to talk about abortion (of course they would say that)!
    But if the show actually does get people to talk about their experiences, about abortion, then I don’t think thats so bad! And if you look at the quality of the comments on the show’s website, its not like ‘yes abort’ or ‘no keep the baby’ – people are engaging in a healthy discussion, and sharing some intensely personal stories, so I think that’s interesting.

  19. Hi

    I know a case where my hubby’s friend forced his wife to undergo an abortion when she conceived too soon after marriage..she wasnt working and was ready to have the baby but he forced her to go through with it..God forbid,had something gone wrong and if she couldnt conceive again,i am sure he and his parents would have blamed her..luckily,she has 2 little girls now..

    • See, this is exactly what we pro-choice people are against! Even though, it takes the husband’s(man’s) sperm to create the fetus, the right to choosing between abortion and having the baby, solely belongs to the woman finally, because it’s her body inside which all this is happening. I wish she had access to enough support to put her foot down and tell her husband that she’s going to have that baby!

      • i’m on the fence in this one. I feel men should have a right to the child too. and yet, what do we say when a father wants to keep the child and the mother wants to abort?

        we want fathers to be equal partners, to change diapers, to take paternity leave, to help with homework and all that jazz. yet we dont give them equal right where choice of keeping the child is concerned.doesnt that give men a raw deal too?

        • I agree with you, but unfortunately men are at a disadvantage when it comes to this issue, only because it’s not their bodies inside which the pregnancy progresses. But yes, certainly, I personally advocate women discussing as much as possible with the biological father of the fetus, because according to me too, men deserve to be a part of the decision. But, as I said earlier, FINALLY, the last word has to be of the woman. That’s how it works. I wish I had a better alternative to suggest here with which men’s opinion would equally matter in every couple’s decision to abort or not to abort… but, doesn’t look like there can be any hard and fast rule or law created which would fairly give these privileges to men, while keeping women’s rights intact.

          • we’re in absolute agreement here babe. its finally the woman’s word and there’s no debate there. like i said – i dare anyone to tell me what to do with my body. and yes – i wish there was a way to let the man have more a say… sigh. life sucks. you’re in the US na? why are you up at such an unearthly hour?!

            • Because I am jobless!! πŸ˜› 😦

              Hey, thanks for putting up this discussion here (even if that was not your intention πŸ˜› )…
              I really had a good time talking to all you smart girls about a topic SO close to my heart! πŸ™‚

            • LOl πŸ™‚ that would apply to all of us. Its always nice to have a discussion with people who know how to do it without being offensive… keep coming by!

  20. Hi MM, the Turkish girl incident is just so tragic, I’m sure it won’t leave my mind for days. What is the world coming to, who are these people and is there really a God?

    About reality shows, I totally agree with Sonia on that one. It’s a real low for mankind when 17 girls want to marry Rahul Mahajan.

  21. I’d rather they abort the girl child than bring her to the world and then put her body up for sale for all of five ruppees

      • with the kind of population we have, safe homes are not easy to provide for. orphanages aren’t exactly the best places. I’ve found that people in India hold little value to life (other than their own of course). There’s just too many people, so nobody cares!

        • no they arent. so why arent we looking at improving those instead of saying – oh damn, we cant provide safe homes and orphanages, so lets just abort because its the simpler way. why not make it easier on the young parents to save that life and give that child to someone who wants it and cant have their own? why not work towards more positive changes?

          Yes, abortions should be available. safe places so that women dont die while undergoing them. yes, women should have a right over their own bodies. but what about all the other rights we’re riding roughshod over? what about the husband who might want the child and has no other way to have one? so many women trick their husbands and get pregnant if they want to . but its a rare man who can find that way to do it. we’ve got to appreciate the power we have, to give birth. what about the child who is conceived and then dropped without any thought being given to its rights? its funny how we buy cosmetics that have not been tested on animals because we want to fight for that guinea pig’s life but not for this one….

          and yes you’re very right. in india no one cares because there are so many lives. but what about world over? i really want to seek a change in attitude towards life. being pro-choice is good. but i want us to stop thinking its only about the woman’s body. there are other bodies involved too. give them a thought.

      • i’d rather the parents abort than:

        [all true stories below btw!]

        a. curse daughter everyday and burn her with hot oil cos in an attempt to kill her cos despite being from an extremely poor family she’s educated and getting her an educated boy means buying the groom an apartment and a car.

        b. someone i know was doing a women empowerment session for sex workers and when they spoke about insisting on the fact that the guy use condoms, they laughed and said, “madam hum toh bees rupaiya mangte hain aage jayenge toh 5 rupaiya mein milti hai…”

        c. our househelp has left her daughter in the village cos she doesn’t trust her husband alone with their own kid.

        these are all people from lower income groups for who a daughter is a financial burden and that can be understood but i know friends – middle class families like us- who treat their girl children so terribly that i wonder if they are living with an unhappy situation everyday and giving the girl misery wud it not be better than to end it when they had a choice rather than putting the girl through so much self doubt and pain

        • dm – bad things happen everyday – the real world sucks. kids get raped, put to work as chlid labour.. and what not. but we cant wish them all dead. we need to work on more constructive solutions instead of being part of the destruction

          • I agree MM we don’t need destructive solutions but there is this huge sense of exasperation that comes for these women who live thro hell almost everyday and who have now resigned to fate and have the most bemused expression when people give them hope to fight back cos they all know that there is no real situation and I know atleasr 2 of them wished they never existed. As ridiculous as it is to defend their parents I wish they had never given birth if they knew all along that they were not prepared for responsibility even tho the reason was as outrageous As gender

            • not at all. i completely understand where you’re coming from. and maybe i’m an idealist.. but i always end up on this side of any discussion where I want people to stop saying – but this is how it is. and actually work towards changing things.

            • don’t know why i can’t reply to the post below. i guess i am on your side too! i don’t think there is ever NOT a solution. maybe years of rectified attitudes towards the girl child will make things better. till then i pray for all the women suffering but i pray even harder for all the people causing harm to them.

  22. Just a note to all those commenting
    – the post was not to debate a woman’s right to abort. I doubt there is any debate there. I’d like to see someone stop me from doing what I want to do with my own body.

    – the post was about how they’ve made taken abortion and made a show out of it, hoping to cash in on its controversy. who are readers to debate how imperative an abortion is to you?

    – if the rest of you want to debate semantics and my choice of words, that is different and neither here nor there. Its not always easy or possible to pick words that everyone approves of.

    – since we’re already in the midst of a discussion on it, i’d really like to ask everyone to then spread the net wider and think about everyone involved in that choice. its not just your body, even though it primarily is. its about the unborn child and the father of the child and the impact on society too… I’m hopnig everyone read Freaknomics on this one – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Impact_of_Legalized_Abortion_on_Crime

  23. There is a lot I want to say, but the debate on semantics that is happening here, scares me – I might end up not saying it the way I want to.
    Having said that, I work in the HR department of one of the largest IT companies in India with an employee count of more than 1 lakh people. 60% of the women I work with are in the 24-34 age group and in some stage of planning families. Almost all of them have chosen not have kids so they can ‘concentrate on their careers’. As part of the HR machinery that decides a lot of things and influences company culture in the largest way, I see my senior management (50% of them women themselves) sneer at and not look too favorably upon the few women who do choose to go on a break to have their first child. And if the lady in question is considering a second child, then god forbid. I have colleagues who have been mocked at by bosses for wanting to plan their second child before they turn 30. The reasoning – the first ten yrs of your career are important, why would you let it go away?
    (My comment was not entirely connected to the post or the abortion debate above – but like my boss says, the biggest crime in this world is the fact that a woman has been given the ability to bear a child. Any woman. And while I believe it is the woman’s final right to decide, I agree with what you said in one of the comments – that not always is the woman a victim.. rambled on, I have! )

  24. Babe, had to respond to a particular comment you made that people would have to be stupid to get pregnant in this day and age unless they want to.

    Not really true. have a very good friend who had two kids, waited a while and then both husband and wife decided that they wanted to pursue certain career/education goals after putting it on the back-burner for quite some time. He had a vasectomy and they were on track and then she got pregnant. (Yes it was his:-)

    It was pretty horrific. No birth control is foolproof unfortunately. Everything has a margin of error. It was nothing short of a dharam sankat and should they have had it? It’s nobody’s call but theirs. And they chose not to because it was the worst possible time – financially,(he was back to full time student) and emotionally.

    Was it taking a life? Yeah. Technically. But more like the possibility of life when detected that early. Semantics? Sure. But really? whatever gets ypu through the night when you are in those shitty situations.

    I know this wasn’t your main point. just wanted to say.. and also am petrified ALL THE TIME that it could happen to us too:-( spooky.

    • no no.. it wasnt my main point.. and as usual the comments take you into tangents and push you into corners you didnt really plan to be in. And yes I know someone who got pregnant after the husband had a vasectomy. she went for an abortion and the baby survived it. dont ask!

      but these are rare cases no? the point is they did everything they could to avoid this situation. i’m mainly talking about the people who tell you in conversation – oh we thought it was a safe period but were off by a couple of days… safe period?! nothing is safe other than abstinence πŸ˜‰ no, jokes aside… i’m not talking of aberrations like this. mainly people who just dont play it safe enough.

  25. Late to the party (!), but the short answer to your question is ‘no’, abortion is not entertainment.

    On the other hand, I am totally with the idea that there is a hierarchy of decision making when it comes to abortions – although there may be other parties invested in the decision, in the end, because the woman bears the highest physical and emotional costs of bearing children, she should have the most say (or almost all the say) in whether to carry it or not.

    Also, and I’ve argued with you before on this, adoption is part of the answer, but it can’t be the entire answer. Even in a perfect world, I’m not sure that all the kids who are in orphanages and foster homes will be adopted, and that too, by loving parents. Abortion has to remain as a viable alternative.

    Must get back to work now so more later.

    n!

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