Friday, November 23, 2012

A Red Rose For Saveeta Parveen..Abortion Issues In Pakistan.

An Interactive Article by Dr Meher Zaidi
The news that caused heartbreak was the preventable death of Saveeta Parveen ,a dentist in Ireland, beloved wife and a young woman full of life. She was denied abortion by hospital authorities in Ireland and after death of her fetus died. Ireland does not permit  abortion and this obstetric emergency which should have been handled medically once again highlights the tyranny of religious edicts and interference in laws that affect women.
There is a furore all over the world and the debate over who controls women's bodies and why is again front page .
Pakistan also faces similar problems but many issues are being solved as is evident from this study by Shirkatgah
In Pakistan the main issues are lack of awareness about prevention of pregnancy, lack of access to services including reproductive health, safe abortions and sometimes lack of knowledge of religious taboos.In Muslim law abortion is allowed till the end of second month and most Muslim scholars allow abortions in case of medical indication even after the 4 rth month of pregnancy.Due to lack of testing awareness women do an ultrasound scan later in pregnancy and if  congenital malformations are detected which cannot be compatible with life after birth in fetus, abortion is allowed.Islam does not allow abortions based on sex of fetus and also discourages limiting births by means of abortion of valid fetus.
As Muslim law basically makes man the center of power and decision in family according to the prevalent interpretations, decisions regarding abortions are mainly taken by men. Freedom of choice by women has been overshadowed by poverty, illiteracy and given the pseudo flavor of tradition and Islamic culture in Pakistan.
A woman may want abortion when her contraception fails, when she already has many children, she has other medical conditions etc.

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