Raping a 14-year-old and then refusing abortion, well done, India

Published: July 25, 2015
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Schoolgirls pray to pay homage to a rape victim who was assaulted in New Delhi, at a school in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad. PHOTO: REUTERS

Every 20 minutes, a woman in India is raped. India has the third highest instance of rape in the world (the first is United States). While this seems to be a scary statistic, there’s something even more poignant that can be taken from these numbers – people are reporting rape.

The countries that fall under the top ranks of rapes ‘reported’ are developed countries such as Sweden, Belgium and Canada. A lot of countries are missing, not because rape does not occur there, but because rapes go unreported in those countries. It must be noted and clarified repeatedly that human rights and women protection laws are missing in the countries where rape statistics are unavailable.

Another important development that India is witnessing regarding sexual protection and sexual rights is the morning after pill. It is a critical step in tackling rape. Just recently, an Indian court refused abortion for a teenage girl who is five months pregnant. The 14-year-old girl was raped by her doctor, who is currently in police custody. The teenager, hailing from Gujarat, hails from a poor family and does not have the resources to take care of a child.

The problem with these cases is easily the social and legal framework which does not support or protect or have any measures to rehabilitate rape victims and the resultant circumstances they have to face in a patriarchal society. Ranging from stigma to the possibility and eventual pregnancy, rape victims fail to live a normal life like any other person around us. They carry many invisible scars and by no fault of their own, they become victims of their own lives.

What is imperative for countries is that they establish formal centres, raise public awareness regarding sexual health and introduce a system that helps women hailing from low income strata to not be perpetually thrown into the deepest rungs of failures.

If a woman is raped, she must have the confidence in the legal system that will protect her and will not further harass her.

She must have the knowledge and awareness of immediately finding contraceptive measures to prevent a rape pregnancy and she must not, and I reiterate must not, be judged at any cost. Raising offspring is a beautiful, wonderful experience and a serious and lifelong responsibility. For a rape victim to have to bear the burden of a child with no resources is, simply put, a disaster.

Mahwash.Badar.

Mahwash Badar

The author is a clinical psychologist, a mum to two boys and permanently in a state of flux. She tweets @mahwashajaz_ (twitter.com/mahwashajaz_)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • farhan

    The abortion was not allowed because she was more than 20 weeks pregnant. Such a late abortion is against their laws and the laws of a lot of developed countries as well.

    We do not know what the numbers would be if all rapes were reported. It is best not to speculate.Recommend

  • Gullu

    Well, see, we are dealing with a society/culture? that claims to be 4,000 years old.
    [which is debatable] now this society firmly believes that widows have no place on
    Earth. And should commit Sati. and dutifully follow their husbands to the hereafter.
    They also have caste system firmly in place. 4000 years old. Stay in your caste.
    So what do you expect in the case of this raped pregnant 14 year old girl? Nothing.
    They would rather she disappear somewhere. Go away somewhere. Bharatis
    may have shoes, clothes even bicycles,…but culturally they are 500 years behind
    the rest of the world.Recommend

  • Concard

    Hello Madam, India has 1.27 billion people. You measure crime for per 100,000 people not as a whole, just like economy you measure the prosperity of a country by per capita not GDP as a whole. If you consider crimes in India for per 100,000 people, we have very low crime rate and even rape statistics. As for as this abortion is concerned, you want to terminate a pregnancy in advanced stage? What if the victim dies? Are you willing to take the responsibility? Abortion is allowed in India, gender selective abortion and when the pregnancy in advanced stage, abortion isn’t permitted.Recommend

  • chanakya_the_cynic

    What an incredibly meaningless and disjointed article. First of all, instance of rape is a meaningless statistic. What you need is a per capita measure, by which India actually has among the lowest rates of rape in the world. This is not to say the position of women in India is hunky dory. It is not, and we need to do a lot to improve it, but the rape ‘crisis’ is overblown.

    The discussion of the particular case at hand also makes no sense. The victim was not denied a morning after pill, which is available freely in the country. Nor would she have been denied an abortion, which, upto the five month mark, are also available quite easily. She was denied late term abortion, post twenty months, by a female judge, who rightly noted that “whatever be the circumstances in which the child was conceived, whatever the trauma of the young mother, the fact remains that the child is also not to blame for being conceived”. This is not an easy or straightforward decision. The girl is not being ‘harasssed’. There are competing rights at stake, and a difficult and complex issue being reduced to a ridiculous headline and incoherent preaching does no one any favours, least of all to you.Recommend

  • Amrutam Aparya

    It is a mischievous Title without considering the fact that the said girl was more than 20 weeks pregnant! This gives an impression that Indian courts do not allow abortion.Recommend

  • Vectra

    srry my comments are not meant in reply to u.I am correcting it.Recommend

  • Vectra

    This is a crap headline,The author while writing should consciously
    choose the headline.Why bring India as a state’s name rather than
    pointing out to individual concerned.Recommend

  • zoro

    Grow up Lady …. :-) … (In ur head i mean )Recommend

  • Faulitics

    “Raping a 14-year-old and then refusing abortion, well done, India”

    oh ok. Thanks!Recommend

  • forced2

    As an actuary I can tell you a per capita measure would not be entirely meaningful in India’s case as the per capita of those under the age of 16 years in India is disproportionately high. One needs to examine that segment of the total population where acts of rape are likely to occur. Recommend

  • IMTIYAZ

    But india is not a developed country Recommend

  • bairooni haath

    The abortion the Indian girl wanted is known as partial birth which is illegal throughout the world. After 20 weeks the fetus is a viable child outside the body of the mother If removed. Abortion in India is legal and free if done according to the law.
    What should be noted is that the guy who perpetrated the rape, a Doctor with higher social status than the girl is in prison and will have to take care of the girl and her child one way or another.Recommend

  • Guest

    I think this author is desperately trying to get into good books of the Powers that be.Recommend

  • jack night

    Pakistan look at your own women’s rights situation. Pakistani court released the attackers of malala.Shame on pakistan.Recommend

  • http://insidedisillusion.wordpress.com Mahwash Badar

    I repeat. I do not choose blog headlines. This one was chosen by the blogs editor, not me. My original headline was “Tackling Rape”.Recommend

  • anurag haldar

    This statistic proves nothing except your morbid bias against India…I should give you couple of statistics which might ‘please’ you then…every 5 min a suicide death in India. Or Every 4 Min road accident related death in India…These statistics only paint half truth.You could have used this opportunity to reflect on the horrible rape laws in your country or the archaic abortion laws but instead you chose to bash India… Well done Pakistan!!!Recommend

  • Nero

    I understand it is “your” blog. But why use it to write illogical gibberish? You seem to well “educated”, atleast literate.Recommend

  • Nero

    Though I agree that the article is complete gibberish, I have serious reservations with your views regarding the court’s judgement. To saddle a fifteen year old child, who belongs to a very poor family, with the burden of a baby she doesn’t want, for good reasons, due to the purported moral reservations of judge who is not in her position is evil. Is the judge going to take care of the baby? The points of law, that is, Indian constitution, very clearly state that the women have rights over their bodies and choice re abortion. The only reservation can come from doctors, if they believe that an attempted abortion can jeopardize mother’s life/ well being. Rest of us reading about it, and pontificating on morals of this case, have no right to further destroy a child’s life.Recommend

  • Indian guy

    Why does the headline read as if a whole nation has raped a girl? Once again the author has done it. Its quite evident that you holds some grudge against India, but seriously maintain some minimum journalistic standards and at least try to not make it so clearly evident in your posts.Recommend

  • Anon

    Indians crying like little babies in the comment section when faced with reality. Denial is strong in this oneRecommend

  • K

    Most countries that allow abortion permit termination after the 20th week in all cases and abortion at any time to save the life of the pregnant girl/woman. Even India’s law allows abortion after 20 weeks to save the life of the pregnant woman/girl.

    Here, the judge should have found that terminating this pregnancy was crucial to save this girl’s life. India has the highest number of maternal deaths in the world. In India a woman dies every few minutes from pregnancy related causes. Pregnancy is dangerous for all women in India – but especially for adolescents. Adolescents age 15 through 19 are twice as likely to die during
    pregnancy or child birth as those over age 20; girls under age 15 are
    five times more likely to die. In fact, pregnancy is the leading cause of death for adolescent girls in India. Of course, this doesn’t count for the myriad life-long injuries a young girl risks during pregnancy and delivery.

    The judge’s absurd holding that, “whatever be the circumstances in which the child was conceived,
    whatever the trauma of the young mother, the fact remains that the child
    is also not to blame for being conceived” can easily be used to deny a woman an abortion at any time.

    The fact is that this girl is going to risk her life and health (mental and physical) to deliver.Recommend

  • EAGLE STRIKE

    india is the most backward country, girl infanticide is all time high there.Recommend

  • abhi

    very incoherent writing. Not sure what author is trying to say. Abortion after completing 5 months of pregnancy is dangerous and not allowed anywhere in the world.Recommend

  • Sane

    Why headline annoys you. The incident belongs to India. Why shame, face the fact. After all you belong to a country which has a rape capital.Recommend

  • Sane

    Discussion is about a case which occurred in India. Why you pull Pakistan in every discussion. Don’t attempt to digress, be on the subject. Or hide your faces.Recommend

  • Jagannath

    Comment your country, why dragging others in the crap you love to live?Recommend

  • Critical

    This is not the first time you had to reply in the comment section clarifying that you didnt choose the headline….If you dont want your blogs to have vicious hatemongering titles then why dont you inform ET Desk not to change the title of the blog and if they do so,you will take down all your blogs and will not write anyone in future…

    Or are you secretly happy that your blogs get many clicks as it has a clickbait title…Recommend

  • shiva the destroyer

    Now on to the real scoop here. According to mastermind Google, our not-so-friendly neighbour Pakistan tops the list of pornography searching countries in the world.
    While that is rather interesting, you’ll be more interested in knowing the popular search content there. Pigs, donkeys, cats, dogs, snakes… No this isn’t some strange Orwellian Animal Farm re-visitation.Recommend

  • jack night

    Pakistan has no moral right to preach “Human rights” on India when it has its own problems. Atleast, India is improving and we are allowed to criticise the govt and law when in Pakistan you have your own medieval sharia courts.Recommend

  • jack night

    India has a mars mission, moon exploration. There are some problem in few poor regions.We had our own female prime minister before any western nation.Recommend

  • jack night

    Haha you people are so modern in your madrassa education that keeps producing terrorists year after year.Recommend

  • Gratgy

    So how is the bacha baazi and Vani going?Recommend

  • Gratgy

    If the reference point is Pakistan every country is a developed countryRecommend

  • Gratgy

    When India has the second highest population in the world it is not a surprise if it has the third highest no of rape cases. However funny that Pakistans are worried about rape in India and not of rape children in their own country in the form of Bacha baaziRecommend

  • Gratgy

    A wise man in Pakistan once said “in Pakistan women get raped to migrate to western countries”Recommend

  • Parvez

    The issue about rape…how it is viewed and addressed and has nothing to do with India or Pakistan.
    In my view the very fact that so much is being written and being acted on in India is a positive step……as opposed to our mindset of saying that it does not exist.Recommend

  • Faraz Talat

    It doesn’t look well for Indian nationalists (or nationalists of any country) who get overly defensive about the rape culture in their country. Know when a legitimate problem is being pointed out, and nod your head gracefully.

    Also, the risk to the mother’s health from abortion is always less than than if the fetus is allowed to reach gestational age. Statistically, abortion is a safer procedure than labor.
    Recommend

  • Concard

    Rape culture? So you also agree Pakistan have suicide bombing culture and terrorist culture? Most the crimes against women happen in this states UP and Bihar, the most backward states in India. And most of these migrants from these states migrate to Delhi in huge numbers for work. Even the Delhi gang rape in 2012, the perpetrators were found to be from these states. In Southern India and elsewhere the crimes against women do not in anyway amount to those committed in UP and Bihar. Can I judge your country by taking FATA and North Wazirstan as example and call you terrorists? After all your own media reported your country is producing extremists at an amazing rate given these students study in Madrassas where radical version of Islam is being thought to students.Recommend

  • Mohsin Shady

    India has 1.27 billion people & Rape is the Fastest Growing crime in India.Every 20 minutes, a woman in India is raped. India has the third highest instance of rape in the world (the first is United States). Every second Women is the Victim of Rape. As the time passes Rape is becomes the identity of Indian Nation. Women, girls, Can move freely due to fear of rape even they aren’t safe in their own houses, rapist rape Indian Women freely, no police, government take action against them, #NY Times States that India is the Most Worst place for women in this Huge planetThis is the Big Question Mark on Modi Govt, and Opposition how to overcome and Reduce the Rate of Rapes in India to become Rape free CountryRecommend

  • Mohsin Shady

    No Need to Justify your Blog.. i appreciated your blog. It showed the real problems of Indian Women & girls, being human we should support and courage Indian women and Girls, they are suffering from worst sexually Violating conditions.Recommend

  • https://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=8559594100366660134#allposts Supriya Arcot

    By killing someone , our lifespan does not increase . By pointing to some one”s minus points , we don’t become great . Recommend

  • Mohsin Shady

    Accept the Reality and try to make Rape free India. India is the Most worst, dangerous, place for women and Girls.Recommend

  • arslank Pakistan Paindabad

    Look at your Pm and rss which has its roots in Nazi ideology. then speak of terrorism from pakistan.Recommend

  • arslank Pakistan Paindabad

    Lol i find it funny that you were looking at pakistanis porn choices. Obsessed much?Recommend

  • Concard

    RSS and Nazi ideology ? LOLRecommend

  • http://insidedisillusion.wordpress.com Mahwash Badar

    Wow, that’s great thanks. Hope you’re happy with your little conspiracy theory.Recommend

  • Gratgy

    lol! coming from a country where women cannot even report rape without the fear of being stoned to death for adulteryRecommend

  • Gullu

    Seems like the truth is really hurting the indians bad !
    Look at all these nasty comments !
    After all, Bharat is the rape capital of the World.Recommend

  • Gullu

    Well, in India they want the widows to commit Sati. And follow the husbands in the hereafter. No sir, no extra women will be tolerated. Absolutely not.Recommend

  • Gratgy

    Lol! the last sati case was 30 years ago, while Vani and Bacha baazi goes on unhindered in Pakistan even todayRecommend

  • Fima

    blog seems incomplete.. wheres the girl’s story? what happend to her ? who was she ? is she alright? title of blog is totally different .
    abortions after 5th month are very dangerous for mothers as well .. what is she (author) trying to convey?Recommend

  • Mohsin Shady

    We are in your favor with all Sympathies. we are Against Women Right Violation in India.Recommend

  • chanakya_the_cynic

    Which views regarding the court’s judgement? My views are that it is a complex and difficult issue. Yes, the girl is a victim and her family is poor. But, a late term pregnancy is not just about the girl’s life. There is a viable life in the child also, which has committed no crime. And indeed the family may or may not have resources to take care of the child, but this doesn’t make an abortion right. Is infanticide correct if parents don’t have resources to take care of a child?

    I personally would agree that abortion is probably the best course of action here. But I certainly think the viewpoint that abortion in late term pregnancies is equivalent to taking a life is also very valid.Recommend

  • chanakya_the_cynic

    How, precisely, do you know that ‘rape culture’ is a legitimate problem in India?Recommend

  • Fareed Khan Afridi

    Agree with you. 100%….not to fall
    to standards of a hatemonger.Recommend

  • Gratgy

    LMAO, Maybe you should start treating your own women like humans first rather than posessionsRecommend

  • Gratgy

    Rape is a global problem, more so in western countries than India. India has one of the lowest rates of rape in the world. The absolute numbers will be high since the population is 1 Billion. I am not saying it is not an issue, we Indians protest against rape but do you see Pakistanis protest or object against their glorious traditions?
    Hell! they create laws to prevent their women from even reporting rapeRecommend

  • Gratgy

    Lol! If you can’t get your statistics right, at least work on your grammarRecommend

  • Santosh Anand

    Peddling untruth!!! She was granted the right to abortion. We are civilized, we don’t follow sharia over here.Recommend

  • Fawad Ali

    Abortion was permitted under supervision as health was primary and last concern, see the headlines here

    http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/gujarat-rape-victim-allowed-to-terminate-her-pregnancy/article1-1374793.aspxRecommend

  • celin

    Mahwash, its sad that rapes are going without getting seriously punished and tackled. As for the child not getting aborted, i would think it would be a risk to mother’s life, that is the only reason why pregnancy over 5-6 months would have been legally refused.Recommend

  • Bilalullah

    Not true.That’s
    1200 years of subjugation under Muslim rulers talking.Recommend

  • Gratgy

    Lol! The level of history education in Pakistan talkingRecommend

  • Gratgy

    . Probably difficult for you to comprehendRecommend

  • abhishek

    every 2nd victim… every 20 mins… be clear… every 20 mins would be aking it to 72 cases every day i.e. ~26000 among 586,469,174 women that makes it around 4 per 100,000 women i.e after 2 years when delhi case has prompted more women to report it and still on the basis of rape per 100,000 india is not even in top 100 worst countries forget abt being the worst……..

    lets see pakistan now… woman ever 2 hours… that makes it 12 a day taking it upto ~4200 cases in 95,230,282.. which makes it very very similar to India…

    Please we did not needed anyone to comment on it and took the matter in our hand ourselves… We took the matter our selves and we will take it to the end ourselves. It would be better if we focus on our countries first….

    NOTE:: the calculation above was done only on female population basis.. Generally around the world, whole population is used as a basis of calculation.Recommend

  • Faizan

    The culprits behind these type of acts are not human, This should be Condemned regardless of nationality.
    Regarding title of this blog, i would say that nor India neither Pakistan is crime free state.
    So we should stop trying to blame each other and start trying to treat cancer of rape with in each country. This would help our sisters and mothers to feel secure.Recommend

  • Tushar Kanti

    This case was heard over by Supreme Court of india on urgent basis and for kind information to you all, supreme court of India overruled the verdict of Gujrat High Court and constituted a medical team of 3 comprising of one gynecologist, one psychologist and ordered for abortion if it is needed for her physical mental and social well being.Recommend