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April 21, 2017


THIS refers to media reports (April 8) wherein a woman ingested rat poison because she felt she could not get justice, leading to the death of her unborn child, possibly conceived during her rape.

It is time we clarified things about abortion in Pakistan. I personally believe a woman should have the legal right to an abortion if (a) she is raped and the fetus is conceived owing to rape; (b) in cases of incest; (c) where the mother’s life is in danger if the pregnancy is carried to term; and (d) if the fetus appears deformed.

No one should have to ingest rat poison to kill a fetus, whose birth and whose life will be a daily reminder of a rape. The US has abortion on demand, with restrictions for minors who need to see a judge acting as legal guardian if the parents cannot be approached by the child.

While I morally oppose abortion in my own family, I am not opposed to abortion by other people in what is obviously a free society, by people who are all accountable before God for their own choices in life.

I will not consider forcing my morality upon anyone else living in a free society. My own personal view is that abortion is murder. The best argument for the other side is made in the Hollywood movie, Dirty Dancing, starring Patrick Swayze, for keeping abortion legal.

If women are forced to have illegal abortions, their own lives, future fertility and health could be seriously at risk through unsafe practices relating to illegal abortions. Much better is to have it available in hospitals by qualified doctors.

Omar Mirza

New York, USA

Published in Dawn, April 21st, 2017