The Official Guide to Legitimate Rape #WTFnews #VAW #Rape

The Official Guide to Legitimate Rape

Yesterday, Missouri Rep. Todd Akin, Republican Senate nominee and member of the House Science, Space and Technology committee, said pregnancy from rape was “really rare” because “if it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” Akin quickly said that he “misspoke,” but he didn’t rescind his claims that women have magical sperm-defying ovaries — or that there’s a hierarchy when it comes to different “levels” of rape.

If you’re unfamiliar with the exciting concept that your uterus can pick and choose between various kinds of rape, don’t fret. We have just the guide for you.

Non-Pregnancy Rape

For decades, conservatives have claimed that women can’t get pregnant from “legitimate” rape thanks to their wise, all-knowing uteri, psychic “juices” and Spidey Sense-like “secretions.” (Hmm, if legislators can applaud our vaginas for being so omniscient, how come they can’t let us control them?)

In 1988, Republican Pennsylvania Rep. Stephen Freind said the odds that a woman who is raped will get knocked up are “one in millions and millions and millions” because rape causes a woman to “secrete a certain secretion” that kills evil sperm. I don’t know about you guys, but my “secretions” are so judicious that they start flowing the second after an Ayn Rand-lover approaches me at a bar, before he can even utter the word “Objectivism.” I guess my vag is just highly evolved.

In 1995, North Carolina state Rep. Henry Aldridge told the House Appropriations Committee that “The facts show that people who are raped — who are truly raped — the juices don’t flow, the body functions don’t work and they don’t get pregnant. Medical authorities agree that this is a rarity, if ever.” Plan B: If your secretions can’t kill evil sperm, you just “dry up” and brush yourself off after you’re done being raped, baby-free. No biggie!

Then, there’s this famous 1999 Christian Life Resources piece from John C. Willke, a physician who was once president of the National Right to Life Committee, in which he basically just makes shit up:

Finally, factor in what is is certainly one of the most important reasons why a rape victim rarely gets pregnant, and that’s physical trauma. Every woman is aware that stress and emotional factors can alter her menstrual cycle. To get and stay pregnant a woman’s body must produce a very sophisticated mix of hormones. Hormone production is controlled by a part of the brain that is easily influenced by emotions. There’s no greater emotional trauma that can be experienced by a woman than an assault rape. This can radically upset her possibility of ovulation, fertilization, implantation and even nurturing of a pregnancy. So what further percentage reduction in pregnancy will this cause? No one knows, but this factor certainly cuts this last figure by at least 50 percent and probably more.

Got it, ladies? If you’re normal, you’ll never emotionally recover from your rape because it’s the “greatest emotional trauma” you can ever experience. But at least you’ll be too fucked up to have a baby! If your body allows basic biology to happen inside of it, your rape wasn’t aggressive enough. Try, try again?

Bad Weather Rape

In 1990, Texas Republican gubernatorial nominee Clayton Williams told ranchers that victims should take rape in stride and try to enjoy it — like when you have picnic plans but then there’s a huge thunderstorm so you decide to see a movie instead and it turns out to be a pretty enjoyable afternoon after all! Yes, Williams literally compared rape to the foggy weather that was affecting his ongoing speech by saying, “If it’s inevitable, just relax and enjoy it.”

Williams isn’t the only conservative to claim rape is akin to unfortunate weather; in 1997, Bush appointee Federal Judge James Leon Holmes said in an article that “concern for rape victims is a red herring because conceptions from rape occur with approximately the same frequency as snowfall in Miami.” Because of the juices! And the secretions! And SCIENCE.

Politico Rape

Last night, Politico‘s Dave Catanese tweeted that it was “impossible” to know what Akin really meant to say when he said “legitimate rape” doesn’t lead to pregnancy. “Just maybe,” Catanese surmised, Akin “didn’t really mean ‘legitimate.’ Perhaps he meant if ‘someone IS really raped’ or ‘a rape really occurs.'” Catanese then got all huffy when people accused him of being a rape apologist, tweeting, “The left is often 1st to shut down debate as “off limits” when it deems so. Aren’t these moments supposed to open up a larger debate?”

Catanese sure has a lot of questions! Here are some others: Why is it wrong to think that Akin meant to say “legitimate” when he literally said “legitimate”? Why should we spend a millisecond of our time analyzing Akin’s deep thoughts on the “science” behind the female body’s ability to “shut down” if she’s being raped? Why does Akin deserve the benefit of the doubt at all? Why is aPolitico reporter more concerned with all of the mythological crazy ladies out there claiming fake rape than with the fact that a state representative who sits on the House Science committee doesn’t understand how pregnancy works?

Forcible Rape and/or Assault Rape

Last year, Ye Grand Protector of All Womenfolk Rep. Akin joined forces with GOP VP candidate Paul Ryan to co-sponsor the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act”, which introduced the awesome new term “forcible rape” into our vernacular. Federal funds can only be used to pay for abortion in cases when a woman is raped; the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” sought to chip away at that exception by clarifying that only pregnancies resulting from “forcible rape” would qualify for federally funded abortions. The true meaning of “forcible rape” was never clearly defined, and the term was eventually removed from the bill.

Yesterday, the Romney-Ryan campaign said the men disagreed with Akin’s statement and that “a Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape.” Funny, since Ryan was one of the original co-sponsors of the “forcible rape” bill and has said that abortion should be illegal in all cases except when the mother’s life is in danger.

Marriage Rape, aka “JK LOL Doesn’t Happen!” Rape

Earlier this year, Idaho Senator Chuck Winder made good use of his time on the Senate floor when he warned everyone about those wily, dangerous housewives who didn’t get the memo that putting a ring on it = no rapes forever and ever. “I would hope that when a woman goes into a physician, with a rape issue, that that physician will indeed ask her about perhaps her marriage, was this pregnancy caused by normal relations in a marriage, or was it truly caused by a rape,” he said.

Fear of the “Wife who cried rape” is nothing new; as a state legislator, Akin once only voted for an anti-marital-rape law after wondering whether it might be used “in a real messy divorce as a tool and a legal weapon to beat up on the husband.”

“Rape” Rape

Remember when Whoopi Goldberg said Roman Polanksi didn’t, like, “rape-rape” a teenage girl? “I know it wasn’t rape-rape,” she said on The View. “It was something else but I don’t believe it was rape-rape. He went to jail and and when they let him out he was like ‘You know what this guy’s going to give me a hundred years in jail I’m not staying, so that’s why he left.'” That “something else” that isn’t “rape rape” is a lot like….

Gray Rape

Young readers might think that “gray rape” has something to do with a certain popular BDSM bestseller, but it’s a term that’s officially been around since the ’90s. Most people think thatCosmopolitan invented the term “gray rape” in 2007, when Laura Session Stepp defined it as “sex that falls somewhere between consent and denial and is even more confusing than date rape because often both parties are unsure of who wanted what.” But Katie Roiphe infamously claimed “There is a gray area in which one person’s rape may be another’s bad night” in her 1994 book The Morning After: Fear, Sex and Feminism.

When the Cosmo article prompted a panel on the dangers of “grey rape,” Linda Fairstein, the former chief of the sex crimes unit at the Manhattan district attorney’s office, told the New York Times that the concept had been around long before Cosmo decided it was trendy. “Certainly, in the criminal justice system there’s no such thing as gray rape,” she said. “Gray rape is not a new term and not a new experience. For journalists, it may be, but for those of us who had worked in advocacy or law enforcement, this description of something being in a gray area has been around all the time. It’s always been my job in law enforcement to separate out the facts.”

Date Rape

“Date” rape is the opposite of “stranger” rape, which is everyone’s favorite kind of rape, because if the attacker is a crazy inhuman savage jumping out of the bushes and never to be seen again (unless shot to death by a nearby princely fellow carrying a gun specifically for cut-and-dry situations such as these), there’s no need to acknowledge rape culture or try and educate people about complicated issues of consent.

The term entered the national consciousness in 1985, when Ms. Magazine published a three-year federally-funded study by psychologist Mary P. Koss on date rape on college campuses. The study found that one in four college women were victims of rape or attempted rape, and that only one in four women had experienced sexual assault that met the legal definition of rape at the time. In the piece, Koss encouraged women to reconsider their past experiences and ask themselves if they had actually consented, even if the person in question was a friend.

When we attach “date” as a modifier to rape, the term becomes quainter and less violent; it implies the attacker and the victim were friendly, making the situation more convoluted. Which it very well may be. But “date rape” is much more common than “stranger rape.” According toRAINN, the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, approximately two-thirds of rapes were committed by someone known to the victim, 73 percent of sexual assaults were perpetrated by a non-stranger, and 38 percent of rapists are a friend or acquaintance.

Why do we feel the need to get so specific when a rape is “date” rape if that’s the unfortunate norm?


RAINN defines rape as “forced sexual intercourse, including vaginal, anal, or oral penetration. Penetration may be by a body part or an object.” To clarify: “Rape victims may be forced through threats or physical means. In about 8 out of 10 rapes, no weapon is used other than physical force. Anyone may be a victim of rape: women, men or children, straight or gay.”

(And here’s some additional info for Scientist Akin: according to a 1996 article in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, “among adult women an estimated 32,101 pregnancies result from rape each year.” According to Planned Parenthood, more than five percent of all rapes result in pregnancy.)

Let’s stop differentiating between different types of rape as if they were different flavors at an ice cream shop. Politicians need to get over the pervasive fear that adopting a zero-tolerance attitude towards rape means that people will be able to disingenuously “cry rape” if they’re having a bad day. That’s not going to happen. You know what’s way more dangerous? Allowing legislators like Akin to make declarative statements that are unarguably false. If you don’t know how basic biology works, you shouldn’t be able to hold a government position that gives you real power over the bodies of millions of women.

Sure, it would be a hell of a lot easier if uteri were able to define rape for us. But they can’t, and it’s insane to pretend otherwise.

Oriiginal article here-

Doctors engineering fetuses to prevent intersex, tomboys and lesbians #WTFnews

Dangerous Experiment in Fetal Engineering


By Marla Paul

CHICAGO — A new paper just published in the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry uses extensive Freedom of Information Act findings to detail an extremely troubling off-label medical intervention employed in the U.S. on pregnant women to intentionally engineer the development of their fetuses for sex normalization purposes.

The paper is authored by Alice Dreger, professor of clinical medical humanities and bioethics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and is co-authored by Ellen Feder, associate professor of philosophy and religion at American University, and Anne Tamar-Mattis, executive director of Advocates for Informed Choice.

The paper is authored by Alice Dreger, professor of clinical medical humanities and bioethics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and is co-authored by Ellen Feder, associate professor of philosophy and religion at American University, and Anne Tamar-Mattis, executive director of Advocates for Informed Choice.

The pregnant women targeted are at risk for having a child born with the condition congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), an endocrinological condition that can result in female fetuses being born with intersex or more male-typical genitals and brains. Women genetically identified as being at risk are given dexamethasone, a synthetic steroid, off-label starting as early as week five of the first trimester to try to “normalize” the development of those fetuses, which are female and CAH-affected. Because the drug must be administered before doctors can know if the fetus is female or CAH-affected, only one in eight of those exposed are the target type of fetus.

The off-label intervention does not prevent CAH; it aims only at sex normalization. Like Diethylstilbestrol (DES) — which is now known to have caused major fertility problems and fatal cancers among those exposed in utero — dexamethasone is a synthetic steroid. Dexamethasone is known — and in this case intended — to cross the placental barrier and change fetal development. Experts estimate the glucocorticoid dose reaching the fetus is 60 to 100 times what the body would normally experience.

The new report provides clear evidence that:

  • For more than 10 years, medical societies repeatedly but ultimately impotently expressed high alarm at use of this off-label intervention outside prospective clinical trials, because it is so high risk and because nearly 90 percent of those exposed cannot benefit.
  • Mothers offered the intervention have been told it “has been found safe for mother and child” but in fact there has never been any such scientific evidence.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has indicated it cannot stop advertising of this off-label use as “safe for mother and child” because the advertising is done by a clinician not affiliated with the drug maker.
  • A just-out report from Sweden in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism documents a nearly 20 percent “serious adverse event” rate among the children exposed in utero.
  • Clinician proponents of the intervention have been interested in whether the intervention can reduce rates of tomboyism, lesbianism and bisexuality, characteristics they have termed “behavioral masculinization.”
  • The National Institutes of Health has funded research to see if these attempts to prevent “behavioral masculinization” with prenatal dexamethasone are “successful.”
  • The United States’ systems designed to prevent another tragedy like DES and thalidomide — involving de facto experimentation on pregnant women and their fetuses — appear to be broken and ineffectual.

The paper is available for free download at:

Marla Paul is the health sciences editor. Contact her at

U.S. Health Law May Curb Rising Maternal Deaths


By Malena Amusa

WeNews correspondent

Monday, July 30, 2012

As the U.S. maternal mortality rate continues to increase, the new health care law could offer improvements in preventative care for women. Yet, definitive answers to why more American mothers are dying remain scarce

Credit: Celine Vignal on Flickr, under Creative Commons 2.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

(WOMENSENEWS)–The future of pregnant women in the United States will significantly change Aug. 1.

That is when the new health care law, the Affordable Care Act, will require insurance providers and Medicaid to cover clinical preventative services for women, including pre-natal care, all without charging a co-pay, co-insurance or a deductible.

Under the new guidelines, millions of women will gain access to health care services for free, including well-woman preventative care visits and screenings for gestational diabetes and sexually transmitted infections. These guidelines do not include maternity care or simply any service the doctor orders. However, starting in 2014, all maternity care will be covered by all new individual, small business and government exchange plans.

“This will provide an extraordinary opportunity to improve women’s health not only during pregnancy but before, between and beyond pregnancy, and across the life course,” said Dr. Michael C. Lu, the associate administrator of the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the Health Resources and Services Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Not only will preventative care be provided next year without cost to women, under the new health care law, $125 million will go this year to the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program to expand maternal and newborn support for mothers at home.

The changes are being introduced amid a wealth of data indicating that the number of mothers dying in America during or shortly after pregnancy is consistently growing. The rate of maternal mortality in the United States has more than doubled, rising from 6.6 deaths per 100,000 live births in 1987 to 16. 1 per 100,000 live births in 2009 – the highest among developed nations, Lu’s agency reports.

Various studies have attributed higher risk of maternal death to race, income, region, C-section rates, obesity-related problems and chronic disease. States where poverty exceeded 18 percent, the immigrant population exceeded 15 percent and the C-section rate exceeded 33 percent had 77 percent, 33 percent and 21 percent higher risks of maternal mortality, respectively, a 2007 report by Gopal K. Singh of the Health Resources and Services Administration indicated.

Women’s eNews has also reported previously that African American women’s maternal mortality rates are higher than those of other American women. African American women, regardless of levels of income and education, are three to four times more likely to die as a result of pregnancy. Yet conclusive data answering the question of why are scarce.

Government Funding

Ahead of the federal health insurance reform, several states have already been using funds provided by the federal government’s Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant Program to improve pregnancy care.

For example, the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative develops toolkits, protocols and recommendations for hospitals to tackle the leading causes of maternal death and morbidity, including hemorrhage (excessive bleeding) and preeclampsia (extreme high blood pressure).

At least two-thirds of California hospitals have adopted the toolkits. At the same time, the collaborative is devising a program to reduce first-birth C-sections, which range from 15 percent to 45 percent of births in California.

“The challenge is getting hospitals to adopt recommendations and change, but this is an area that we are making real progress in,” said Dr. Elliot Main, medical director of the collaborative. “It’s a shame mothers are still bleeding to death in the United States.”

In addition to the block grant, the Maternal and Child Health Bureau has developed intervention programs for low-income women at risk of having a low-birth weight baby, including the Home Visiting program and Healthy Start.

In 2009, 685 U.S. mothers – up from 548 in 2007 – died of pregnancy-related complications during or within 42 days of the end of their pregnancy, according to unpublished data provided by the Health Resources and Services Administration.

As a result, the United States is one of 23 countries – including Zimbabwe and Costa Rica – where maternal mortality rates have increased, according to a 2010 World Health Organization report “Trends in Maternal Mortality: 1990- 2008.”

Many pregnant mothers go into labor with chronic health problems, the top being diabetes, hypertension, obesity and cardiovascular disease. The federal maternal health agency reports that these contribute to poor maternal outcomes, but these studies are not conclusive and do not explain the maternal mortality difference between white, African American and Hispanic mothers.

Higher rates of health disorders are reported during pregnancy as well. In 2008, among the 27 states that collect this information, gestational diabetes and pregnancy-related hypertension were reported in 40.6 mothers per 1,000 live births and 38.7 mothers per 1,000 live births, respectively.

Clear Backsliding Trend

Final maternal mortality and morbidity data for 2010 are not yet available but the trend is clear. While developing countries are lowering their maternal mortality rates, the United States is backsliding.

The problem here does not correlate to monetary expenditure. The United States spends more on health care than any other country and more on maternal health than any other type of hospital care, according to a 2010 report by the London-based human rights group Amnesty International.

Lu, at the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, has been researching maternal distress for years.

“To improve maternal mortality in America, there are two things we must do,” he said in an e-mail interview. “First, we need to improve women’s health before they get pregnant. Second, we need to improve the quality of care that women receive during pregnancy.”

That echoes an international consensus that maternal deaths are preventable in most cases and that maternal morbidity can be foreseen and addressed long before the mother gives birth.

Improving women’s health before pregnancy involves what Lu has described as a “life course model” that begins in early life and extends to checkups for teens and access to contraceptives, all of which are covered by the health reforms about to take effect.

“Programs and policies that improve women’s health before they get pregnant, including those that address social determinants of health over the life course, as well as those that improve the quality of care women receive during pregnancy, will be critical for offsetting the risks which contribute to increased maternal deaths,” Lu said.

Malena Amusa is a freelance reporter based in St. Louis.


Safe abortion: technical and policy guidance for health systems

Pro-abortion march

The awaited “Safe abortion: technical and policy guidance for health systems“, the  second edition of the WHO publication is available online now.

Find the pdf document online at:

The contents include:


Executive summary


Process of guideline development






Dissemination of the guidance document


Updating the guidelines


Chapter 1 


Safe abortion care: the public health and human rights rationale


1.1 Background


1.2 Public health and human rights


1.3 Pregnancies and abortions


1.4 Health consequences of unsafe abortion


1.5 Contraceptive use, accidental pregnancies and unmet need for family planning


1.6 Regulatory and policy context


1.7 Economic costs of unsafe abortion


Chapter 2


Clinical care for women undergoing abortion


2.1 Pre-abortion care


2.2 Methods of abortion


2.3 Post-abortion care and follow-up


Chapter 3


Planning and managing safe abortion care


3.1 Introduction


3.2 Constellation of services


3.3 Evidence-based standards and guidelines


3.4 Equipping facilities and training health-care providers


3.5 Monitoring, evaluation and quality improvement


3.6 Financing


3.7 The process of planning and managing safe abortion care


viii Safe abortion: technical and policy guidance for health systems

Chapter 4


Legal and policy considerations


4.1 Women’s health and human rights


4.2 Laws and their implementation within the context of human rights


4.3. Creating an enabling environment


Annex 1


Research gaps identified at the technical consultation


Annex 2

Final GRADE questions and outcomes


Annex 3


Standard GRADE criteria for grading of evidence


Annex 4

Participants in the technical consultation


Annex 5


Recommendations from the technical consultation for the second edition of Safe abortion: technical and policy guidance for health systems


Annex 6

Post-abortion medical eligibility for contraceptive use, Medical eligibility criteria for contraceptive use, 4th ed. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2009


Annex 7

Core international and regional human rights treaties


Sex workers cannot be mothers – says Satara police #WTFnews

Anu Mokal, a pregnant woman was beaten up by Police in Satara, Maharashtra. She was so severely beaten  that she had a miscarriage and lost her baby. No Law in the country allows Police to physically assault a women. This case is worst because male cops have assaulted a female victim.

Her fault, being a sex worker

Actually, i feel very demoralized because if the police had done this to a non sex worker everyone would be up in arms. NO body reacted after it appeared in the papers in Satara, too. When they met me Durga said, if it was a `gharguti’ [wife] woman everyone would protect her womb, [ vanshacha diva – heir] but because it is a sex worker her fetus is not considered sacred or that she has a `vansh’, as a `bad woman’. That is what the police and society think, in any case.- Meena Seshu of SANGRAM
On 2nd April, around 7:30 PM, Anu Mokal accompanied by Anjana Ghadge were taking dinner for her friend Jaya Kamble who was undergoing treatment in the local civil hospital. When they were passing the Satara bus stand area, senior police inspector Dayanand Dhome started yelling at them using abusive language. When they told him that they were only taking food for their friend, he called them liars and without any provocation, Dhome and his subordinates started beating Anu and her friend Anjana Ghadge.

Dhome repeatedly said that women like Anu are a ‘shame’ to him while he continued to kick her. Anu fell down and pleaded that she was four months pregnant but they continued kicking and beating her. She was then forcibly taken to the police station. Anu and Anjana were detained and put in a lockup from where Anu and Anjana were routinely taken to civil hospital for treatment. Anu told the doctor she was pregnant and he prescribed medication, but the police didn’t allow her to buy nor did they give the medication to her.

On 3/4/2012 they were produced before the magistrate and were released after a payment of Rs 1200 fine for an offense not known to them or specified. They were taken to the civil hospital again by members of Veshya Anyay Mukti Parishad [VAMP], a network of sex workers and Anu received medication.

But on 5/04/2012 night, she suffered a miscarriage. The miscarriage is quite likely to have resulted from the trauma of the thrashing by Dayanand Dhome and his subordinates. She has filed a complaint against Inspector Dhome and his colleagues with the Superintendent of Police K. M. M. Prasanna. However, her complaint and visit to the SP have been in vain.

SANGRAM the organisation that runs the Maharashtra State AIDS Society HIV/AIDS prevention project with women in sex work and sexual minorities in Satara District also sent a written complaint to Home Minister R.R.Patil, DSP Prasanna, Satara and Regional DIG Tukaram Chavhan, demanding that action be taken against Dayanad Dhome and others, but to no avail. DSP Prasanna told a delegation from VAMP on 30/04/2012 that an enquiry is instituted but would not commit as to when we can expect a result.

Anu and Anjana are are asking for justice and their right to get a hearing. Anu feels that the miscarriage due to severe beating and the subsequent trauma are not taken seriously because she is a sex worker. In fact, the police had the audacity to tell these women that sex workers cannot be mothers.

We Demand

1. The Inquiry in the case be expedited and the report be made public

2. Inspector Dayanand Dhome be suspended with immediate effect.

3. A Grievance committee be set up by the Maharashtra Government, which includes members from the field of sex work, women rights, police, law, so that such incidents are not repeated and they get speedy justice.

4. The Maharashtra Government which runs the HIV/AIDS programmes with sex workers have a policy on Police violence against sex workers male/female and transgender.


Haryana 12-week pregnant women cannot teach #WTFnews

Sukhbir Siwach, TNN Apr 28, 2012,
  • CHANDIGARH: New rules notified recently in Haryana bar more than 12-week pregnant teachers recruited in Haryana from joining work till they deliver and produce fitness certificates. They would not be entitled to get their salaries and other perks during that period.

“Those who are over 12-week pregnant will stand temporally unfit till the confinement (delivery) is over. (Before joining work) senior medical officers or civil surgeons will re-examine them to check their fitness,” said an official.

State school education department director Sameer Pal Srow justified the move. “It is not discrimination. We are just trying to avoid the loss of studies to students as pregnant women go on vacation shortly after joining duty,” he said. “Not only Haryana, even Himachal Pradeshis also following the similar practice.”

Haryana School Teachers Association (HSTA) protested the move and sent memorandums to the chief minister. “It is discrimination against women. Pregnancy is not their fault or weakness but it is the right of a woman to be a mother. A woman conceives the baby not only for herself but for the entire family,” said HSTA president Vazir Singh. “Women employees get maternity leave for 180 days. It seems that the government is trying to save salaries during this period. We will continue our protest against the decision.”

Lawyer Rajiv Godara said maternity leave is the right of women. “If the government is really serious about the studies of students, it should find out an alternative mechanism but not at the cost of women’s rights.”




Watch headlines today video here

Bangalore woman delivers baby on road, dies

TNN Apr 23, 2012,

 BANGALORE: Denting the city’s aspirations of emerging as a global medical tourism hub, a woman delivered a baby boy on a busy road and bled to death after she could not avail of timely medical help, at Kamalanagar in west Bangalore on Sunday.

The newborn is battling for life in Vani Vilas Hospital. The pregnant woman, believed to be in her mid-20s, appeared before a provisional shop on the Shakti Ganapati Temple Road, Kamalanagar, around 9.30am. She was accompanied by a boy and a girl, both less than four years of age. As the woman went into labour, the shopkeeper asked her if he could help her.

As the two children got her some water from the shopkeeper and tried to keep curious onlookers at bay, the woman picked up the newborn and started walking on the road, and then collapsed. Passersby rushed the unconscious woman to Ashok Hospital where doctors cut the umbilical cord of the newborn.

The doctors said the woman’s condition was serious and sent her to Vani Vilas Hospital, but she breathed her last before she reached the hospital, where doctors put the baby into the neo-natal intensive care unit. The two children accompanying the woman, meanwhile, were lost. Locals said she was Poornima, a resident of the area. She was living with her sister after her husband abandoned her. However, police did not confirm this.

Meanwhile, doctors said the newborn is in an incubator. Every baby should be kept warm and covered after birth, they pointed out. The lack of that has led to a sudden drop in his body temperature, resulting in plummeting pulse rate as well, they added. Hospital medical superintendent Some Gowda said a newborn’s first few hours are crucial but in this case everything went wrong. “The situation in which he was born wasn’t ideal. No sanitary precautions were taken. He was taken to a park later and we suspect this led to infection,” he said.

“The baby is in a critical condition and it is too early to say anything. A few hours after he was brought here, he suffered a bout of fits. We are finding it really difficult because there is no medical background on his mother. For a blood test or anything else, none of his blood relatives are around. As of now, we are trying to keep him stable,” the doctors said.


Experts believe the woman who died after giving birth to a baby boy on a pavement could have been saved if passersby had called 108 ambulance services.

“There is no dearth of healthcare facilities and shelters that take care of women in distress. We have services like ‘short-stay’ homes run by Karnataka State Social Welfare Association Board in association with the Central Social Welfare Board. We also have centres like ‘Swadhar’ and a very prompt ambulance service, ‘108’. Citizens who noticed the woman struggling should have called 108 and she could have been saved,” said Nina P Nayak, chairperson, Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights.

Girl, 19, raped by dad for 5 years, pregnant

Mar 21, 2012,  TNN

In Nagpur a 50-year-old labourer named as Kishore Agrawal was taken into custody for raping his 19-year-old daughter from the past five years.At presesnt the girl is now two months pregnant, which brought this worst act into light on Tuesday March 20.

The accused was sexually taking advantage of his 19-year-old daughter from the past five years, subsequently his wife left him. At the time the girl was 14-year-old.

On Tuesday afternoon when Agrawal hit the girl in the stomach after she refused to have intercourse with him.The girl suffered unbearable pain and pleaded with the father to let her go.

Then, though Agrawal tried to stop her, she gave some excuse and rushed to her neighbour to tell them about the pain.

Police said that the neighbours immediately took her to a nearby doctor and were shocked to learn that she was pregnant. Later, on questioning, the girl told the neighbours about her father forcing her into a physical relationship since her mother left the house.

The people who lives near to the girls house has took the girl to Nandanwan police station and registered a case on Kishore Agrawal.

Man can’t force wife to conceive, rules high court

Feb 11, 2012

In a first, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has ruled that a husband cannot compel his wife to conceive and give birth to his child. Making it clear that relationships that know no limits too have boundaries, the high court has asserted intimacy is one thing, giving birth to a child another.

“Mere consent to conjugal rights does not mean consent to give birth to a child for her husband,” Justice Jitendra Chauhan of the High Court has asserted.

The judgment, pregnant with significance, also makes it amply clear that “to have and to hold, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health” does not give a man the right to prevent his wife from going in for an abortion.

The ruling came on revision petitions filed by Chandigarh-based gynaecologist Dr Mangla Dogra and others petitioners. The controversy in the case hovered around the decision of a wife to go in for medical termination of pregnancy without her husband’s consent.

Married in April 1994, the couple and their son were initially staying in Panipat. Due to “hostilities and strained relations”, the wife started staying with her parents, along with her son, at Chandigarh.

The wife conceived after she agreed to accompany her husband to Panipat during the pendency of her application for maintenance. She then underwent an MTP carried out by Dr Mangla Dogra, who was assisted by Dr Sukhbir Grewal as anesthetist.

The husband, subsequently, filed a civil suit for the recovery of Rs 30 lakh towards damages for mental pain, agony and harassment against his wife, her brother and parents and Dr Dogra and Dr Grewal for getting the pregnancy terminated illegally.

Taking up the plea, a Civil Judge asserted: “There is a cause of action in favour of the plaintiff against the defendants (wife and others) at this stage”. Aggrieved by the orders, Dr Dogra and other petitioners preferred the revisions.

Justice Chauhan asserted: “The wife knew her conjugal duties towards her husband. Consequently, if the wife has consented to matrimonial sex and created sexual relations with her own husband, it does not mean that she has consented to conceive a child. It is the free will of the wife to give birth to a child or not…

“The wife is the best judge and is to see whether she wants to continue the pregnancy or to get it aborted… Keeping in view the legal position, it is held that no express or implied consent of the husband is required for getting the pregnancy terminated…

“A woman is not a machine in which raw material is put and a finished product comes out. She should be mentally prepared to conceive, continue the same and give birth to a child. The unwanted pregnancy would naturally affect the mental health of the pregnant woman…” Imposing costs of Rs 50,000 on the husband, Justice Chauhan concluded: “It is held that the act of the medical practitioners Dr Dogra and Dr Grewal was legal and justified.”

Assam launches scheme for pregnant mothers

pregnancy test - negative

pregnancy test - negative (Photo credit: slayerphoto)

Assam launches scheme for pregnant mothers

Under the scheme all pregnant women are entitled to free delivery — including caesarean section —in public health institutions of the state
Submitted on 01/31/2012

Guwahati: Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on Monday launched an Assam government scheme entitling all pregnant women to free delivery — including caesarean section —in public health institutions.

The “Janani Sishu Suraksha Karyakram (JSSK)” also provides for free transport from home to institution, between facilities in case of a referral and a drop back home.

Azad also launched 23 mobile medical units (MMUs) for the 23 sub-divisions in the state, reports IANS.

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