Tag Archives: Abortion

The Medical (Un)profession : Caveat Empty

This is a guest post by CAVEAT EMPTY

As a twenty something year old it was not the first time I had gone to see a gynaecologist, and been asked what was now the question of the hour.

“Are you married?”

This question had bothered me even during the visits to the gynaecologists (and other doctors), which were prior to my abortion, and where I had not been horror-struck. This question was the doctor’s way of determining if I was sexually active. Apart from the warped moral high horse it was riding, it was completely unprofessional, and maybe even dangerous. There was the risk that someone may not make the connection that these doctors were making between marriage and being sexually active. I myself had only made the connection belatedly, and only after having responded to it instantly. And, even when I did understand the question I did not exactly want to scream “Hey you judgemental pig, I am having pre-marital sex!” Continue reading The Medical (Un)profession : Caveat Empty

A blow to reproductive rights in Pakistan: Ayesha Asghar

Guest post by AYESHA ASGHAR

Early in July, Kashmala Tariq, Member of the National Assembly (MNA) of Pakistan, whom Wikipedia describes as “actively involved in women’s rights”, opposed the tabling of the Reproductive Health Bill 2012, saying that it was not in conformity with Islamic laws. The Bill was introduced by another MNA, Atiya Inayatullah, with the purpose of providing reproductive health services, including legal access to abortion,  to women in Pakistan.

Tariq accused the Bill of following the agenda of foreign NGO’s and stated that such proposals that might be in contravention of Islamic injunctions should be sent to the Council of Islamic Ideology and every party’s opinion should be sought. The Bill has been sent to the Cabinet Division for further deliberations.

Does this mean that our women representatives don’t know what reproductive rights include? The responsibility of women parliamentary representatives in Pakistan is more challenging than that of men, as women are more often made victims of oppression either in the name of culture or religion.

Continue reading A blow to reproductive rights in Pakistan: Ayesha Asghar

Abortion as a feminist issue – who decides, and what?

The recent post by Shohini Ghosh on the first episode of Satyameva Jayate has raised key questions around the complicated relationship between abortion as such and the selective abortion of female foetuses. This dilemma is one with which the women’s movement in India has been grappling since the late 1980’s. In this post, I would like to move away completely from the television programme, especially because there the focus was on women who were forced to have abortions after sex determination, on which there is little to debate. I am concerned here with the more troubling question that Shohini also raises, of how to understand a situation in which women themselves decide to have sex selective abortions. I outline here the main contours of feminist debate and activism over close to three decades, that have circled around complex understandings of ethics and agency in the context of women’s control over their bodies. I conclude by stating my own position on the issue, which is not necessarily the position taken by the movement as such.

Continue reading Abortion as a feminist issue – who decides, and what?

Dil Se Nahin Dimaag Se Dekho – Thoughts on Satyamev Jayate Episode 1: Shohini Ghosh

Guest post by SHOHINI GHOSH

The first episode of Aamir Khan’s much publicized TV show Satyamev Jayate telecast on May 6, 2012 dealt with “Female Foeticide”. The following is a reflection of the show’s line of reasoning. Since only one out of 13 episodes has been telecast, what follows should not be taken as a judgement on the series but a response to the first episode. For reasons that I will explain later, I will use the term Sex-Selective Abortions (hereafter SSA) instead of `Female Foeticide’.

Continue reading Dil Se Nahin Dimaag Se Dekho – Thoughts on Satyamev Jayate Episode 1: Shohini Ghosh