‘UNWANTED PREGNANCY’: CONCENPTUAL ISSUES
issue of ‘unwanted pregnancy’ is a recent concept in human history and is associated with social stresses of modern
life. The purposes of the law and its principles focus on preventing ‘unwanted pregnancy’, protecting the rights
of the fetus and infant, and mitigating the adverse effects of ‘unwanted pregnancy’ by social measures.
DETERMINANTS AND CAUSES OF ‘UNWANTED PREGNANCY’
pregnancy’ is associated with general social determinants (hedonistic life styles, sexual transgression, addiction to
drugs, fear of poverty, and low female status) and specific antecedent causes (sexual crimes, egoistic greed, maternal/fetal
disease, and gender discrimination).
THE LAW ON FETICIDE and INFANTICIDE
is sacred. All lives have equal worth whether in utero or in terminal illness. Taking the life of any one person without legal
justification is like killing the whole human race.
feticide and infanticide are committed for various reasons: avoiding consequences of sexual immorality, poverty, rape, and
is criminal homicide because life is considered to start at conception and not as claimed at ensoulment. Abortion is immoral
because it encourages sexual immorality and promiscuity without fear of pregnancy.
is the lesser of two evils in cases of serious maternal disease because one life is lost instead of two. In all forms of abortion
whether legal or illegal, the aborted fetus must be treated with respect. It must be washed, shrouded, and buried properly.
Law prescribes severe punitive measures for causing abortion of a fetus. Diya is paid if the fetus comes out with signs
of life and dies thereafter. Ghurrat, which is less than diya, is paid if the fetus comes out dead. The physician
or any other accessory to abortion is guilty of the offense of causing abortion even if either or both parents consented to
can be in the form of child neglect and child abuse.
injustice manifesting as poverty is responsible for a lot of feticide and infanticide.
Poor mothers who do not get adequate nutrition and medical care have a higher rate of fetal loss and poor pregnancy
outcomes. Their children are born pre-mature of small for gestation age and succumb easily to disease and die. Children born
in poor families and communities have higher morbidity and mortality.
PREVENTION OF ‘UNWANTED PREGNANCY’
is prevented by sexual hygiene, marriage, contraception, deterring sexual crimes, and raising the status of women.
THE LAW and ADVERSE CONSEQUENCES OF ‘UNWANTED PREGNANCY’The adverse sequelae of ‘unwanted pregnancy’
(feticide, infanticide, or child abuse and neglect) can be prevented by defending the basic human right of the fetus and infant
to life, promoting social institutions for child welfare (nuclear family, extended family, foster care, and open adoption).
Closed adoption is forbidden by law but care in a foster home is allowed and is encouraged if the nuclear and extended families
are unwilling or are unable to care for children. Abortion at any stage of pregnancy is a crime against humanity. It is not
a solution to the problem but is part of the problem. It will encourage more ‘unwanted pregnancies’.