A person’s womb and gestation is a private matter, even if that person happens to be Meera!

Of late, I have been visiting the media and communications departments of a few universities and speaking with students about how to sift through the clutter, focus on the news and cut out the irrelevant bits and pieces so that every news item should be crisp, precise and most of all accurate and free of embellishments. 
I have innumerable print and video clips that tell us what NOT to do while writing a report or making a package. Unfortunately, clips that show us good ethical journalism are rare. Try as I may, pieces where the reporter and/or his editor have applied basic critical thinking tools and journalistic ethics are hard to come by. However some reports are so bad they do not even care for a even a minimum degree of professionalism and print slanderous, unsubstantial and at times damaging stories that serve no purpose other than humiliating people and provide salacious fodder for the voyeuristic amongst us. This report about Meera’s alleged abortion by the horrible horrible Jang group is one such example.
For starters, this report is about a very private matter of a woman and should not have been published. Getting an abortion under any circumstances is a private matter and should be dealt as such. But the reporter Shahab Ansari not only reported the incident, he milked it for what it was worth and added other unnecessary detail. For instance, when the doctor told him that the abortion was carried out due to no fetal activity, he chose to speculate if the actress had carried out actions to stop that fetal activity of which he had no proof. Even if it had been true, the matter is private and not open to public debate. You and I and that reporter have no right to determine what a mother should or should not have done. We should NOT be interested in another person’s womb and gestation activity, period.  
He also speculated that Meera wanted to conduct the DNA test of the fetus which obviously is no one’s business but the moron of a reporter had to add this bit to make the news more masalaydaar for lack of a better word.
The doctor at the hospital should be stripped of her medical practice license for divulging all the private details of her patient’s medical history. I request all the Lahori ladies looking for ob/gyn services should boycott Dr Shahida Khawaja and her hospital for breaking the patient doctor confidentiality code. Shame on you Dr Khawaja, shame on you.
The reporter chose to end the report with a veiled threat citing Section 338 of the Pakistan Penal code which basically says that a whoever causes a woman with child whose organs have not been formed, to miscarry is said to cause ‘Isqat-i-Haml’ and is liable to a punishment of a minimum of three years imprisonment if the abortion is performed by the woman’s consent.
We have insulted the life choices of our celebrities many a times, be it Veena Malik’s nude shoot or Shoaib Akhtar’s medical records, giving the reason that the celebrities ask for it by being in the limelight. But what about this incident when it is obvious that Meera is trying hard to keep a personal issue to herself? The reporter not only reported what happened but also speculated to make her come across as a woman of loose morals who has no idea who the father of her unborn baby was. Asking her father-in-law who has been hostile towards her in the past was just adding more masala to an already sordid saga.
If the current lot of journalists resort to the worst form of yellow journalism, no matter what we teach our kids in media schools will be useless because the market tells them that this is the trash that sells. If a market leader with a lot of money like Jang group indulges in this type of sensational and scandalous crap then there is no hope for smaller cash strapped media houses.
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14 Comments

  • “Getting an abortion under any circumstances is a private matter and should be dealt as such. “

    No, its not private matter. I am atheist and dont care about Islam, or any religous injunctions as such. But as a father of 4 months baby in my wife’s womb, and as someone who has seen the embryo move her limbs and jumps in scans, I can not imagine my wife going to a clinic and getting this girl aborted without my consent, and without any punishment.

    This stupid feminist ideals that abortion even in the 3rd trimester is woman’s right ….is just plain cruel and inhumane.

    And when it comes to take money from unwilling fathers, women race to courts for paternity test orders. At that time, someone’s womb becomes a man’s business as well.

  • If you don’t think that abortion is a woman’s private matter, than you need your head examined. It’s her body, her right. When it’s medically safe for a woman to get an abortion at a certain point in her pregnancy, then who (especially a man) is to say when she can or cannot?
    It’s a woman’s body, this her perogative.
    How would you feel if your lovely daughter got pregnant by mistake at 16? Ruin her life and have a baby that’s unwanted? Or have an abortion, learn and continue to have a full life?
    Being a man, you have no idea what a woman has to go through to get an abortion. It’s not just a matter of going to the doctors and having a procedure – it’s a decision that effects a women until the day she dies. And women are not going to to stop having abortions just because some self-proclaimed atheist has become ‘mushy’ after seeing his daughter in his wifes womb. Sorry but your argument just doesn’t cut it. An abortion is a womans business and if you don’t like it, teach your sons, friends, colleagues, family to use BIRTH CONTROL rather than wasting your breath on insisting that an abortion is not a woman’s right.

  • Dear Anonymous Atheist: did u even read the main article? it says abortion because there was no fetal activity, or to make it simple for you – it was a miscarriage. if the boy is not removed, it will decay inside the mother’s body and will produce toxins which will be harmful to the female’s body. Now choose: would you rather have the woman killed by poison of a corpse who COULD have had further children, or would you rather that a corpse is removed from the body so she can have kids? That question, comes IF the main article was true to begin with!

  • So…Anonymous, you are perfectly okay with what happened to Meera? You are okay with a doctor, disclosing her patient’s medical history to the press? And you are okay with the idle muckraking going on? Do you know why she had an abortion, I don’t so how dare anyone use this for newspaper sales. It appears no one has learnt from the News of the World phone hacking scandal, if they get away with doing this to celebrities, they eventually get to ‘normal’ people.

  • Somebody tell Poor Meera about Sabz Sitara. Period.

  • OK, since 3 commentators pounded on my ass, I am going to reply 🙂

    Lily says: “Anonymous, you are perfectly okay with what happened to Meera? “

    I am not talking about Meera. The news item is sleazy news item, and I agree with Tazeen. I am just opining on her assertion on abortion (i listed that clearly in my comment)

    Saifi says: “if u even read the main article?”

    read the above reply to Lily.

    NotaFeminist says: “It’s a woman’s body, this her perogative”

    No. Once she decides to take pregnancy to 2+ months long, its not her body. Its another body in her body.That child is dependent on her. And just like any parent will be arrested for careless parenting if the child is endangered, she stands the same scrutiny.

    “How would you feel if your lovely daughter got pregnant by mistake at 16?”

    I will feel bad. But then again, at 16 she is child. She does not know what getting pregant mean for teh rest of her life. Coming up with such edgae cases (and incest, rape, etc) is just retarded

    Don’t get me wrong. My wife and I tested the fetus for genetic disease, down syndrome, etc . We could have chosen abortion, if it was meaningless (actually crule) to bring a physically handicapped person to this world.

    Also, accidents happen. Women do get pregnant by mistake. But missing two cycles in a row, and not knowing that u r pregannt or taking 4+ months to make up ur mind that u want to keep or kill that embryo inside you, is just stupid.

    ” It’s not just a matter of going to the doctors and having a procedure – it’s a decision that effects a women until the day she dies.”

    This is quiet a stupid argument. Most murdereres feel guilty about their crimes, but this does not mean that they should be left without any punishment in this world.

  • Even if Anonymous can be taken to have a point about the father, the woman’s health, womb, gestation, etc., then is between her, her doctor and the father, nobody else. It is certainly not a matter for the press.

  • And what about when a woman do not want to get pregnant but she is forced to do that by her man.
    As in Pakistan, even woman have five or six children they do not want to face sufferings of pregnancy again but there husband do not give them a choice.
    So yes, its a woman’s body and she must have a power to decide how many children she wants.

  • “Even if Anonymous can be taken to have a point about the father, the woman’s health, womb, gestation, etc., then is between her, her doctor and the father, nobody else”

    No, its not just a matter b/w woman, husband, etc. Its a criminal matter if the abortion was done 3 months after conception. If the husband/bf was involved (in pressuring the woman or influencing her), that bastard needs to be sent to prison as well.

    Remember, we r not talking about women health here. If pregagncy is risky for her, by all means, do the abortion even in the 3rd trimester.

    “And what about when a woman do not want to get pregnant but she is forced to do that by her man. “

    Does this mean she keep getting pregnant and then getting abortion after 3 months? If yes, send her to mental asylum.

    “So yes, its a woman’s body and she must have a power to decide how many children she wants”

    Sure, there r multiple ways to avoid getting pregnant, even without telling ur husband. But to keep getting pregnant, and then killing the embryo after 3 months, must require a jail time.

    Lets take it to the extreme. How many of u radical feminists would like the idea of hammering the kids head when he popped out of the vagina? Why ? Whats wrong about it? Her body, her decision, right?

  • Anonymous does not know this country fully, there are women who do not know what will be the next date of their periods and it is almost impossible for them to say that they are pregnant. Thanks to our concerns for women we made them illetrate to the level of animals.
    There is a urdu saying ‘ jo maan se ziyaada chaahey wo phapha kutni kehlaey’ when men shows their concerns to this extreme they just behave like a kutni.

  • excellent. do you write in urdu? if yes please contact me on jeaypakistanweb@gmail.com

    thanks and well done.

    Hassan Kamal

  • @aneeqa

    but how come u know that no women wanted a child?

    Why portray your personnel opinion as general public opinion?

  • @ Aneeqa
    and you want to say that Meera is one of those who can’t even calculate their periods cycle?? c’mon lass.

    @ Anonymous
    I agree with all your points. adding that OF COURSE THIS WAS NEVER MEANT TO BE A PRESS ISSUE. IT’S SOMETHING THAT RELATES TO MEDICAL AND LEGAL REGULATIONS. WHY DID THAT LADY DOCTOR OPERATE HER, IF IT WAS NOT JUSTIFIED??? AND IF IT WAS A JUSTIFIED ACT, WHO ARE WE TO QUESTION IT?? ARE THERE NO CHECKS ON WHAT GYNAECOLOGISTS ARE PRACTISING???

  • Thank you He also speculated that Meera wanted to conduct the DNA test of the fetus which obviously is no one’s business but the moron of a reporter had to add this bit to make the news more masalaydaar for lack of a better word. birthday love messages

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