Termination of Pregnancy of Rape Victims

  ” Women are the axis of the society “-no doubt! They are considered very important in our families and somewhere the internal matter and external too. The “home organization” is run by the “women members” may it be in the name of grandmother, mother, aunt, sisters, daughters, etc. The women are the yardstick of the development of any society and it won’t be an exaggeration when they are called to be the one determining the direction in which the society along with the development is going on!

Well of course it is the one side of the coin when we have a glance at the practical situation in our society touching various points of concern in the day-to-day life that the women are subjected to. We have different perspectives from the other point of view. Yes, on the one hand, they are called the “shaktiswarupini” women and on the other side, they are left to such pathetic and menial conditions and particularly at that point of time when they need care and support, for moving from one destination to another then to another and so on with the feeling of fear, fury, cry, shame, protest, question, revolt, help, and whatnot in the watering eyes!

Well, let us have a full glimpse of the situation the women of varying age groups face when their strength is already shattered by the atrocities of the wild society.

Introduction

The society we are living in is the 21st century and such a scenario that we all are given a series of fundamental rights and women are no exception to the same some basic and biological rights are given to women in extra. All these rights and responsibilities cannot be snatched away except on the exceptional ground. Well, sometimes these rights are at the stake of some laws and formalities which indirectly hinder the very basic fundamental nature of the same. Undoubtedly we are going to discuss the rules and regulations under the medical termination of the pregnancy of rape victims indulging them in unnecessary struggles. Dealing with such a state of mind how and why the victim is often supposed to perform such legal and other formalities and on what logic that is to be undertaken when her situation demands full support and voice. It is a matter where we see that instead of curbing and controlling the convict the whole subject of shame, regret, guilt, struggles, atrocities of police and other staff, condemnation, rejection, etc. all are shifted to the account of the victim. Where the need of the law is to take the culprit to the task strictly the victim is subjected to strict law and regulation and all the paper and permission formalities merely for being granted the allowance to terminate the pregnancy. Moreover how the same is very economically hitting on the shoulder of the victim. In the sense that sometimes forgetting the favored medical board report, the victim party has to spend a solid amount. Besides many physical, social, cultural, medical, and health issues are involved which clearly shows that the law requiring permission for any rape victim to terminate the pregnancy is somewhere more torturing the victim. As well said by Justice.

“Long-running hearing in this court and police is sometimes more torturous to the victim “1.

Actually what happens that while going through the whole procedure the limit of the prescribed weeks is reached and what they get is only humiliation. However along with all these facts, there is a certain reason why the department feels so much scrutiny regarding the applicability of all the prescribed legal formality to be followed while granting permission. So these all along with all other aspects as to what the situation and provisions in various states of the country and various countries of the continent, respective case laws and the provisions of the Act. , Constitution and various amendments in this regard and with all pros and cons are going to be the matter dealt ahead in forthcoming paras envisaged in important points and sub-points dealing with the very touching and whirling aspects of the topic of the termination of the pregnancy of rape victim.

Present Perspectives

The very common indication that the situation advocates that the main motive of the law and procedure in respect to the termination of the pregnancy of rape victim is somewhere more harassing and torturous and in aid to what they have already been subjected to the crime scene. It can be understood in the sense that once having been injured and shattered as the consequences of the crime committed on her, as per what the law requires in such a situation she is required to approach the police station, it may be more than often and sometimes continuing; it is not here that everything is done, the path is still more to struggle. To move on they are to face lawyers, audience, staff, public, and most desperately herself while repeating all the things it is not less than the recreation of the same to that what has already been faced. The same is happening in most cases. The litigation also directs to endless struggle and misuse of power and money and harassment However many courts still have the perception of the sufferings and many a time they have given the directions for not uselessly harassing the victim and providing immediate relief. Well, the whole play is that of money and strength. The strength including the physical, mental, and emotional. The victim is said to be broken down into pieces while crossing all these struggles and ultimately gave up. …better to get them to be provided with all the remedies available and the focus is on the problem of the victim and not the abiding of rules and regulations. 2

Medical Grounds

The law takes the help of the medical and other psychologically reported grounds for dealing with the matter herein under such a case. The logics are given below

1. Adversely affects her health

2.At the gestational period the vulnerability to the mother’s life increases and the whole sole possibility of the child being born alive.

3. The psychological status is not much for her to take such a great risk.

4.Sometimes resulting in other life long severities.

5.Socio economic and biological issues are also harmful while in such a situation.

 6.Malnourished and poor health practices.

7. Sometimes the cases are hindered and exposed later on which makes the situation complex

8.While when the victim is minor the challenges go wider.

9. Lack of staff and communications on the medical board.

Well, it is not done with its somewhat cyclic and yielding more and more. The issues are multiheaded and one yielding into the other. The situation goes worst when the victim is minor as she undergoes the hormonal changes still and what they are subjected to is nothing but pressuring and psychic implications on her. Moreover, a minor girl is also expected to be less serious while following the rules and regulations under the medical prescription and other formalities that are part of the whole procedure. Nonetheless, they are to be at the immature stage of life and such that she doesn’t know whether to console and collect her feeling or to provide the motherly treatment to the coming one. She is at an immature level of understanding and such that she needs guidance on how can she be the good and perfect guide. Well, not least when she is at risk how can the child’s future be secured at immature motherhood. Indirectly that when she has yet to grow how can you think she can be a good mother.

The situation in Ancient Days

Well, it is not that only we are facing the struggle and fighting the war of honor the whole world is dealing with the same and fighting also. The situation has been going on still worse and worst ever. The time is being changed for everything but women. Since ever they are alone and somewhere fighting the one-man army. Because verbally they are no doubt the burning issue ever but what has changed? Nothing! It’s a simple question arising in any mode that is that our law so ineffective and of loose hold to tackle the biggest curse on humanity? Then how other crimes have been under scrutiny? Similarly, if the age-old practice of untouchability can be curbed then where the hopelessness is rising in the curbing of rape cases. Just like environment and terror and other issues rape on women are also a global issue. It would be a better path for all the countries of this world to get United and let their halves be freed of such a menace. Why isn’t there any international protocol for the anti-rape policy? Why isn’t there any special court and act for dealing the same? Why isn’t there special training meant for the staff dealing with the victims? These are the questions always to be answered and answered quickly.

In Europe, in the 18th century, the rape cases were defended by the very acknowledgment of pregnancy. The so-called intellects used to believe that conception of the pregnancy is clear-cut proof that both the party have participated with equal commitment and that it couldn’t be rape then but a voluntary act. Many Anti-Abortion Organization’s and Politicians have had a long-standing with the objective.

In earlier times the situation has been even treacherous that the concept of the conflict or war rapes cannot be avoided while discussing the topic. In this condition, the motto of the same is that the determining up of the future generations by their blood and genes as that of the assertor and in this way playing a severe role in mixing the originality of the acquired region and the symbol of implications of biological adulteration in the genes. In other words, simply an act of cleansing ethnicity to produce the babies that share the perpetrator ethnicity Bangladesh, Dafur, and Bosnia. Gita Sahgal who by Amnesty International rather than being primarily about ” spoils of war ” or “sexual gratification “-ethnic gratification as a way of perpetrators to perpetuate social control and redraw ethnic boundaries as in most cases the woman is supposed to marry the abductor.

“Rape of  Nanking “a well-established proof in the context. Here the Japanese troop raped the Nanking  (Chinese ) women where no women acknowledged their child in 20 th century as they were having the cultural traits of the enemy

Another such example in the context is that of the “Bosnian Rape “.Here the camps were organized and where the women were kept captivated after rape till the time reaches when the medical finds the same to be wrong and unhealthy to abort.

The situation in other countries

 In the USA recent estimates suggest that the average conception by rapes is 25,00 – 35,000 generally. In 1996 three years longitudinal study of the 4,000 American women, physician Melissa Holmes estimated the data from her study annually.

Physician Felicity S Stewart and Economists James Trussell estimated that 3,30,000 approximate rapes reported in the USA in 1998 caused about 25,000 pregnancies and about 22,000 of the same can be prevented by emergency contraception.

The figures are also somewhat indicating active development. In 1987 case studies revealed that the rate of the same is 5% per rape of the girls of age group 18 -24 .1996 case study of 44 cases the rate of rape cases is 4-5 %of girls of age group 18 -24 and 3-5% of the girls of college-going age groups.

In Ethiopia, 17 % of rape victim pregnancy is reported the same is 15 to 18 % in Mexico. However, one thing is considerable while adjudging these all that the data states of the reported case only many times there are non-reporting of the cases may it be out of social pressure or law complicacies. Psychologist  Robert Smith Smith citing paper of CA Fox and Beatrice Fox that rape cases increase the pregnancy rate by the increase in the release of the hormones out of fear and anger.

  In Nicaragua the 2000 to  2010 period around 1,72,500 births were recorded for girls under 14 years of age, representing 13% of 10.8 million births during that period. In Peru studies, 90% of the babies delivered by rape is caused by close relatives viz. Brother, cousin, father, stepfather. Costa Rica study holds the same again the same 95% rating of under 15 girls via rape.

The public policy of Canada for fighting the curse on the society includes the registered nurses to prescribe hormonal birth control or emergency birth control to women as long as they comply with the prescribed standards in the Prescription Infirmere: Guide Explicatiff Conjoint, and are properly trained in providing contraceptives. In 2020 Quebec will offer online training in the areas of sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections may have to take additional courses provided by INSPQ

The public policy of USA -Title X – Family Planning Services and Population Research Act of 1970, provides family planning services for those who do not qualify for Medicaid by distributing funding to a network of public, private, profit, and non-profit entities to provide services on the sliding scale based on income. What appears crucial to success that adolescents know where they can go for obtaining information and services or Contraceptives supplies are free or cost very little. In addressing teenage pregnancies problems are confronting from both biological and cultural aspects. In September 2010 The US Department of Health and Human Services approved 155 million  $ in new funding for a comprehensive sex education program designed to prevent teenage pregnancy, to state, a non-profit organization, schools, districts, universities, and others. Replication of teen pregnancy prevention programs that are effective through rigorous research as well as the testing of new innovative approaches to combatting pregnancy Of the total of 150 mn  $ and 55 mn $ is funded by Affordable Care Act through the Personal Responsibility Education Programme which requires state relieving funding to incorporate lessons about both -Abstinence and Contraceptives.

Developing Countries in this regards generally  run small scale and not centrally coordinated

programs of reproductive health aimed at rape victims. .Although some countries such as Sri Lanka have a systematic policy framework for teaching about sex within schools and Organizations eg.  International Planned Parenthood Federation and Marie Stops International provide contraceptives and other aid to young women worldwide. A team of researchers and educators in California have published a list of “best practices “in the prevention of teen pregnancy which includes in the addition to the previously mentioned concepts working to instill a belief in a successful future. Along with all these males involve prevention and process and designing a culturally relevant intervention.

World wide pregnancy of rape victim and teenage pregnancies rate range from 143 per 1000 people in some Sub Saharan African countries to 2.9% in South Korea. In the USA  82% of pregnancies in those between 15 and 19  is unplanned.

Among OECD developed countries -the US, UK, New Zealand have the highest level of teenage pregnancies. Japan and Korea the same is least. In every region of the world including high-income countries -girls who are poor poorly educated or living in rural areas are at greater risk of becoming pregnant than those who are wealthier, well educated, or urban. 95% of the world’s birth to adolescents aged 15 -19 take place in developing countries. Everywhere some 3mn girls in the age bracket resort to unsafe abortion, risking their lives and health. According to a 2001  UNICEF survey  -complications of pregnancy and childbirth are the leading cause of mortality among women aged 15 19 in such areas 13 million children are born to women aged under 20 worldwide. 3.

The highlight of the law with amendments

As many requirements and complaints have been concurrently occurring and accumulating in the line of demand for a review of earlier made outdated and stern principles of the rules and regulations under the MTPA

MTPA Amendment Bill was introduced in Lok Sabha on March 2, 2020, and passed  on March 17, 2020

1.Increases the period within which abortion may be carried out.

2 . Opinion of 1 doctor when conception is done within 12 weeks and that of the 2 doctors within 12 to 20 weeks.

3 . Advice of 1 doctor up to 20 weeks and 2 doctors between 20 to 24 weeks.

4.Setting up of a medical board at the state level to decide if pregnancy may be terminated after 24 weeks in cases of substantial fetal abnormalities

5.The case requiring abortion due to rape, that exceeds 24 weeks -the only record remains through a writ petition.

6.No categorization of women who may terminate between 20 to 24 weeks and leaves it decided to be prescribed rules should be specified by parliament and not delegated to the government.

7.Abortion to be performed by doctors with a specialization in gynecology and obstetrics. As there is a 75%shortage of such doctors in community health centers in the rural areas and the pregnant woman may find it difficult to get facilities for safe abortions. 4

Refusal grounds

1.Termination is done only permitted by doctor beyond risk to the pregnant woman, causing grave injury to her mental physical health  (including rape and failure of birth control measures ) in case of fetal abnormalities

2.Termination is also allowed at any point during the pregnancy if there is a grave danger to the life of the mother.

Case Laws

There are many case laws in this regard. A good glimpse is given on the whole matter

The case of a mentally retarded orphan girl got pregnant by rape. Chandigarh Administration approaches high court for the order of the termination of the pregnancy. The high court taking into account the mental status and applying the principle of patriae patriarch allowed the termination.

An appeal against the same is filed in the Supreme Court to which the Supreme Court adjudged the same to be the basic right and hence cannot be snatched away. 1

Medical access to the patient is the patient’s fundamental right and it must be strictly adhered to. 2

Similarly, under another such case, a full guideline is given to be adhered to while given in the deciding any matter not only this but the Women Forum is required to make the regulations regarding the formulation of the policy and schemes of commission for compensation. 3.

1.Suchitra Srivastava v.Chandigarh. Chandigarh Administration  AIR 2010 SC235

2.Parmanand Katara  v.Union. Union of India  1989 SC 2039

3. Delhi Domestic Working Women Forum v.Union of India 1995 ISCC14.

Again in another such case where the public law is fully held responsible for the determination of the case of a rape victim in Bangladesh 4

Similarly under the case when the compensation was granted to the compensation to the rape victim. 5.

Conclusion

Thus hereby standing firmly in the support of the varying liberty given in the very regards of the basic human rights of the women. It’s a simple question to be raised that why after all so many rules and regulations in such a personal matter. What is the need is the strict application in the culprit case and not the victims. I wonder if hardly any single strict impositions are on the culprit side perhaps the same won’t become the identity of the Indian Judiciary. Those requiring support are given humiliations and those who should be taken to the task strictly are treated innocently until proved beyond doubt. Thus need is to change the scenarios and thinking diversely. More reforms are needed not only in law but the mentality.

4. Charman Railway Board v Chandrima Das AIR 1988 SC 988

5. Bodhisattva Gautam  v Subhra Chakraborty  1996 ISC  490

Frequently Asked Questions

  •  What is the object of amending the previous act of 1971?
  • What liberties the MTPA 2020 induced with?
  • When does the Act come into being?
  • The situation goes worse when the victim is ________.
  • Suggest some way to get rid of the infirmity.

References


  • 1.Delhi Domestic Working Women Forum v.Union of India 1995  ISCC14  PG. 307 https://indiankanoon. org
  • 2.https ://www.deccanherald.com.cdn.ampproject.org
  • 3.https ://www.wikipedia.org
  • 4.https://indiankanoon.org

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