Features Wednesday, April 22, 2015 - 05:30
The Purvi Patel case has once again opened up the debate on reproductive rights. While pro-choice activists believe that the right to abort is integral to a woman's freedom, pro-lifers equate abortion to murder. Indian laws are quite liberal when it comes to abortion but there is still a lot of stigma and judgment attached to the decision. In this series, we speak to Indian women who have undergone an abortion for various reasons – why they did it, how they felt about it, and why it’s important for all of us to understand their choice. This is the third story in our series "Abortion is my decision." Kaveri is almost 30 today. She works with the marketing team of an IT organisation. Kaveri got married fairly early, at twenty-three, and three months after the wedding, she found that she was pregnant. The couple hadn't planned on starting a family right away; she was unhappy with her job and wanted to try a different career path.  And they both felt they couldn't handle a baby so early.  The pregnancy was detected very early. And the couple had a very tough, sleepless week after that. Neither she nor her husband had a clear picture of what to do. Finally, they decided to opt for a termination. She says, “It wasn't easy, to say the very least. We cried a lot, we wavered, we had second and third thoughts. Although abortion laws are liberal in India, the gynecologist in the next street thinks it is her job to decide for you. After going to three doctors, I found someone I was comfortable with. She wasn't in the least judgmental. “ Kaveri says it was a harrowing period from start to finish. The couple didn’t tell anyone else in the family about it and the abortion remains a secret even now. From a very rational point of view, the decision made sense. Kaveri simply wasn't ready for a child back then. Today, the couple has a one and a half year old child and they make a happy family. Kaveri says, “I doubt I could have been this happy and content with a child back then. I understand that the fetus is human and that it is a part of me. I died a little when I had to let go of it years back. It is sad to see that people who are totally unrelated to the issue tend to get preachy about abortions. These lobbyists don't really understand what it takes to raise a child. I wasn't ready back then. And I feel my husband and I get to decide what's right for us.” Kaveri feels that the decision to go ahead with a pregnancy or terminate it should lie with the mother because she’s the one who knows best. She is the only one who can gauge whether she is ready, whether the situation is conducive to a new arrival, whether she is economically sound enough to afford a child and whether she can do justice to the child, as a parent. Like many women who have gone in for an abortion, Kaveri’s choice wasn’t an easy one to make. But today, she’s glad she made it, despite the anguish she suffered because of it.  Read our second story on the series: Abortion is my decision: 'I was newly married, had a good job and wanted to do so much more with my life' Read the first: Abortion is my decision: 'It was a second pregnancy and I was open about the abortion'   

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