Indian Woman Denied Abortion: 'I Wish My Baby Dies After Birth'
If you believe that an unborn child has its own right to life, and a pregnancy, once set in motion, means that the parents of the child must think of the child first, for better or for worse, then a woman's comments in the following real-life scenario are much more disturbing than they would be for those who disagree with you.
An Indian woman pregnant with her first child was told the baby had Arnold Chiari Type II syndrome, which causes brain and spinal abnormalities. Denied an abortion by India’s Supreme Court, she tearfully told The Indian Express, “Now I wish my baby dies after birth.”
Abortions are illegal after 20 weeks of pregnancy in India; the court ruled in this woman’s case that her baby may be “born alive,” and the woman’s health is not at risk.
The woman said, “I can’t see my child bear this pain. I am not sure if I ever want a second pregnancy now.” The father stated, “My wife could not detect the defect in her pregnancy. But now we have the opportunity to know the defect before birth. Why are we forced to bring such a child into this world?”
The woman’s gynecologist said the baby may not live long after birth.
The woman added, “Who wants to kill their own child? It is the hardest decision I had to take. But what option do I have?”
There is another option, of course: to let the pregnancy continue and bear whatever the future holds in store. It is a terrible situation; no one should have to suffer with it. But ultimately the argument to abort the child is a utilitarian argument, where the morally right course of action is the one that produces the greatest balance of benefits over harms for everyone affected. That argument would assert that killing the baby would ease its suffering later, as well as easing the burden on the family.
But killing the baby also means taking an innocent life. And that, in the end, is what makes that kind of decision and the woman's comments morally reprehensible.