Barkha Shukla Singh (Chairperson)
Delhi Commission for Women
We are writing to you with deep concern with respect to an anti-abortion demonstration witnessed by us under a banner with the title “Delhi Commission for Women, Archdiocese of Delhi” in first week of December at Jantar Mantar (see a report attached). The stall, apart from using the title of Delhi Commission for Women in an anti-abortion demonstration also attempted to create confusion between the laws against sex discrimination (PCPNDT Act) and the laws permitting safe abortion (MTP Act).
As you are aware, the right to safe abortion has been accorded to women, after much struggle by women’s rights groups, by the law of the land as per the MTP ACT. Safe abortion is considered a significant reproductive right of women and is upheld as a pillar of reproductive health services by the progressive countries of the world. Unsafe abortions contribute to maternal mortality and it has been proved that having legislations permitting abortion prevents unsafe abortions.
The right to abortion must be differentiated from the laws against sex discrimination that are in no way in contradiction to each other. There is no conflict between the PCPNDT Act and the MTP Act. The MTP Act allows abortion, while the PCPNDT forbids the basis of sex discrimination for abortion. By conflating the two, confusions are being created in the minds of the public against a basic right of women.
The Women’s Commissions are statutory, secular bodies set up to uphold the rights of women and not challenge them, and it was shocking to see a banner suggesting the name of Delhi Commission for Women associated with a ‘pro-life’ anti abortion campaign along with an orthodox religious organization. That the Archdiocese of Delhi should use the term ‘Commission for Women’ for this task and create a confusion amongst the public is unforgivable though they are free to hold their own opinion on the matter.
We presume that the Delhi Commission for Women had nothing to do with this demonstration and urge you to warn the Archdiocese not to use the term “Commission for Women” in public protests. We look forward to hearing from you in this regard.
Pro-life group ends prayer satyagraha for girls
New Delhi: A pro-life group Friday concluded its three-week prayer satyagraha in New Delhi with a rally of girl children from city schools to demand the scrapping of a law that permits abortion.
Volunteers for Life (V4Life) launched prayer campaign along with the Women’s Commission of Delhi archdiocese on November 24 as the Indian government sought public response to a proposal to amend the Medical termination of pregnancy Act of 1971 that made abortion legal under certain condition.
They conducted the campaign at downtown Jantar Mantar, a popular venue for public protest close to the Indian Parliament House, for three days. The V4 Life Campaign activists conducted a demonstration with display of posters and banners on value of human life with prayer satyagraha.
The demonstrators urged the government to take steps to stop abortion and open a bank account in the name of every girl child on her birth and deposit certain amount in her name that she can use when she reaches 18 years of age.
They also urged the government to organize a yearlong program named the “Beti Mahotsav” (grand festival of daughters) to be launched by the prime minister. The festival would highlight the importance of promoting the birth of girl children to rectify the country’s skewed sex ratio.
The under-6 child sex ratio in 2011 was 914 females for every 1,000 males, showing parental preference for male children over females. The female sex ratio was at 927 in 2001. The then Census Commissioner of India C Chandramauli said this was “a matter of grave concern.”
The pro-life group says the pathetic condition of the current social system require urgent and immediate consideration by appropriate authorities. It say abortion has lasting physical, mental and social consequences affecting the fiber of the persons and families involved.
“Moreover, abortion not only kills an infant but its wounds affects mother adversely,” the group noted in a public appeal.
Two young Wisconsin University graduate students wanted to get rid of their love child. But abortion was not possible so they decided to give birth to the child and then give him up for adoption. Thus was born the tech czar Steve Jobs, who co-founded Apple Computers. Job’s revolutionary products the iPod, iPhone and iPad are now dictating the evolution of modern technology.
Had the fetus been aborted, the world would have been devoid of a highly talented technocrat at least where modern mobile communication technology is concerned. The loss would have been otherwise unimaginable and unpardonable, V4Life noted in a statement.
Take the case of famous footballer Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo’s mother in her autobiography “Mother Courage” openly admits: ‘I wanted to abort him but the doctor didn’t support my decision.’
Indian badminton start Saina Nehwal has admitted that her grandmother was very angry that Saina was the second successive girl child of her son. But her parents realized that if well-nurtured she would prove herself worthy. Saina grew up to win many international and national badminton awards.
“These are some of the lucky ones who have escaped the knife of abortion. What about the thousands of would-be inventors, super stars and super talented ones that are nipped in the bud via abortion?” the group asks in a statement.
The group quoted the National Crime Records Bureau to note that more than 50 percent of medical termination of pregnancy is attributed to female foeticide. This is giving rise to a skewed-sex ratio.
Haryana with 830 females per 1000 males has the most skewed sex-ratio. The state’s men have to go to other states like Kerala looking for soul mates. This could well be the fate of other states too if the malady is not rectified soon.
Killing a fetus is contravention of the fundamental right of an individual guaranteed in Article 21 of the Indian Constitution – the primary right – the right to live (in the womb).
Fundamental teaching of all religions is that God is present in every life (which starts from conception). Thus destroying a fetus tantamounts to diminishing God’s presence.
Low rate of girls will give rise to increasing crimes against women and lack of morality besides increase in unnatural sexual activities and prostitution.