Sunday, July 18, 2010

Ah la la ho Over Abortion

The ongoing debate on abortion in Kenya ... I wonder when will the 'Holy See' and their side-kicks and cronies will accept that only a few in the world give two hoots to children thrown in the garbage dumps, streets, abused and starved in homes and schools. Instead of caring for the alive but miserable in this world, they are driving the whole world to go ah la la ho over the unborn. This reminds me of a Buddhist श्लोक (verse):

In the great self existing mandal (a concentric structure) of dharmadhatu (spiritual metal)
where all phenomena reside free from cause and conditions.

Everywhere I look for the self called me (in the light of the abortion debate, I read ‘me’ as women),
it is nowhere to be found.

This life force (I take it as the foetus) is but a brief flicker
like a June bug in the night.

Happy is the yogin (the female knowledge-self who practices contemplation) who clasps the jewel of radiant
Bodhicitta (the aware/enlightened self) unbounded and self-perfected

Now, this interpretation of the श्लोक (verse) is far and away from the implied meaning, but this is what most often the interpretations do - they allow to interpret from the vantage point of the person interpreting (and that's how either distortions/retrogressive or progressive understandings emerge over a period)! In the second last sentence of this note, I have given a link to an interesting paper, which is not about morality or legality of abortion, but on a much narrow issue that when pregnant woman needs a treatment that would harm the foetus in her womb, should she be denied the treatment, or the foetus be put under threat that may affect it if born or find ways to abort the foetus safely. The paper goes on to say that the foetuses have legitimate interests, rather than rights, and a sick pregnant woman has the rights over her body and a right to health. So when there are competing interests, the rights of the woman to decide on her medical treatment, to give consent and her health should prevail. When you have opened the link, click on One-Click Download button on the top to download the paper: "Ethical and legal issues in reproductive health: Ethical and legal approaches to ‘the fetal patient’". It is worth a read!

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