Abortion on medical grounds

Q15 :There are many genetic disorders for which currently no cure is available, but diagnosis is possible. Some of these disorders, when confirmed, may require termination of pregnancy. What is your opinion on this important issue in the light of Islamic teachings: can abortion be allowed on medical grounds?


A15 : In 1983, a conference was held in Kuwait in which specialized doctors of medicine and Islamic scholars took part. One of the most important subject discussed was abortion. There was a great deal of discussion on the various aspects of abortion and when it can be considered appropriate. From the findings of that conference it can be concluded that abortion is permissible if the continuation of pregnancy poses a real threat to the life of the mother. In this case, abortion can be performed at any stage during the pregnancy, and as soon as it is clear that termination of pregnancy is the only way to save the life of the mother. As for other medical conditions, scholars differed a great deal on this issue. It is however, remarkable that the proceedings show that gynaecologists and obstetricians who also have sound Islamic knowledge took a stronger attitude opposing abortion at any stage of the pregnancy. Scholars of fiqh could find room for a more understandable attitude. They gave different verdicts for different stages of the pregnancy. Most of them say that abortion is forbidden after 120 days of conception. Others say that this prohibition begins after 45 days. Both groups define the limit which they favour on the basis of a certain Hadith. The one which speaks of 120 days may be given in translation as follows:


Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )