New Delhi: Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH), which disagrees with the Supreme Court’s decision on abortion, called aborting a fetus a moral crime and urged the highest court to reconsider its decision, which has granted legal abortion rights to all women, married and single, up to 24 weeks into pregnancy.
At the monthly briefing at its headquarters on October 1, JIH Vice-President Prof. Mohammed Salim Engineer said that the court’s order will lead to an increase in the exploitation of women since males won’t be as afraid of the repercussions of their behavior.
The Supreme Court recently declared that, in terms of abortion rights, there should be no discrimination between married and unmarried women and that this should equally apply to unmarried women in consensual relationships. The court also decided that women should have “reproductive autonomy,” and that the husband’s or any other family member’s agreement was not necessary.
In response to the ruling, he stated that the matter concerned a fetus at the stage of development who was unable to assert his or her rights and that removing the embryo amounted to killing. He claimed that in such a delicate matter, the court’s decision should have taken the rights of the unborn into account.
In response to a question from reporters, JIH women’s wing secretary Mrs. Rahmathunnisa said that the right to abortion could not be linked with public demand. She asked ‘will people decide whether a fetus should come into the world or not?’ She demanded that the government and the courts must protect every life, including the life of a fetus. She stated that abortion is unethical, immoral, and illegal.
Stating that a fetus has to be regarded as an unborn human being, the two JIH leaders said that since a fetus or an unborn child cannot defend its rights, it did not mean that we could dispense them at will merely for reasons of convenience. They said this amounted to murder and hence, abortion, except in extreme medical cases, should not be allowed. They warned that a blanket legal right to abortion would increase atrocities on women.
According to Mrs. Rahmathunnisa, who expressed concern over the rising number of atrocities committed against women in India, “the murder of Ankita Bhandari, the incidents of girls from Chandigarh University outraging their modesty, and a girls hostel in Kanpur all point to the fast slide in our moral values and our dismal record in accordance with giving women and the girl child their due place in society.
It is to be noted that India saw more than 4.2 lakh cases of crimes against women in 2021, according to the most recent National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data. That is an increase of 15% from the prior year.
Prof. Salim Engineer responded to a query regarding the ban on the Popular Front of India (PFI) by stating, “Jamaat-e-Islami Hind’s stand is very clear that the culture of banning the groups goes against the democratic spirit and basic civil liberties. In cases where someone violates the law or commits a crime, the court will arrive at a conclusion.
Prof. Salim added, “21 September is observed as World Peace Day throughout the world. This highlights the importance of peace and non-violence for India. October 2 is recognized as the International Day of Nonviolence. JIH believes that both of these days are very important to India. The Constitution of our country, which is multicultural, multi-religious, and multilingual, is founded on the ideals of justice, liberty, equality, and brotherhood. These unwavering ideals require that we Indians coexist peacefully and harmoniously. Today, some forces are vying for control in the name of hatred and division, endangering both peace and advancement.