Abortion in India is illegal after 20 weeks, in large part to stop female feticide. Today’s NewsTrackIndia.com details a Bombay High Court’s decision to break the rule:

In this particular case, a pregnant petitioner when found during routine diagnosis in her 24th week that her unborn child was suffering from a congenital heart block, resorted to go for abortions. But, doctors denied as it was against the law. However, a paediatrician said, the baby would need the placement of a peacemaker immediately after being born.

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Normally a peacemaker has four to five years of life. This way, the child would have to go for five peacemaker replacement surgeries throughout life. Doctors also said that even surgery is not the guarantee of a normal life. They also expressed fear of a possible intra-uterine death of the foetus and if survives, continuous ailment would also compromise the life of the child….

The pregnant mother and petitioner in her plea said that she “does not want to have a compromised quality of life for her own child and can not afford the expensive treatment, which may or may not give results.”

Calling a pacemaker a peacemaker might be humorous in another context, but here it just added to the irony.
We only know what the story tells us, and I don’t want to lend credence to rationalize abortions for “quality of life” concerns. I’ll only say the dramatization of pacemaker implantation and upkeep was Oscar-worthy. In reality, only a local anesthetic is required for insertion. And with technology advancing by the day, this apparatus and implantation procedure will only grow simpler.
Here was another interesting excuse I’ve heard before and marvelled at the insanity: “fear of possible intra-uterine death.” So kill the baby instead?
And a bold, cold line: “can not afford the expensive treatment.” The couple was saying they couldn’t afford to care for their sick baby so they wanted to kill… him or her, which was it?
Interesting that the sex wasn’t mentioned. I’d place bets the baby was a girl.
See news video here.
[Still from news video courtesy of Timesnowtv]

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