Medical Issues: Abortion

[Question 1261]: Is it permissible to have an abortion for economic reasons?

Answer: Abortion purely for economic difficulties and hardship is not permissible.

[Question 1262]: After examination in the first month of pregnancy, a doctor told a woman that continuing her pregnancy will likely endanger her life and should the pregnancy continue, her son will be born congenitally deformed, and for this reason the doctor prescribed an abortion. Is this permitted? And is abortion before the baby takes his breath permitted?

Answer: A fetus’ being congenitally deformed does not permit the abortion of a fetus before the appearance of breath is not a consideration under the sharia, but if the mother’s life is threatened by the continuation of the pregnancy, as documented by the opinion of a specialist and reliable doctor, there is no problem with an abortion.

[Question 1263]: Doctors can use modern methods and instruments to identify defects in the fetus during pregnancy, and considering problems which people with congenital defects have after they are born in the course of their lifetimes, is it permissible to abort a fetus which a specialist and reliable doctor has determined to be congenitally deformed?

Answer: In every tradition, it is not permitted to abort a fetus simply because it is congenitally deformed or due to the problems which will be faced in life because of this.

[Question 1264]: Is it permissible to eliminate a small seed in a firm resting-place [Here and in what follows, the terms found in Koran 23:13-14 are used in the translation; the standard translations of these terms are used as they are not translatable in non-Islamic terms.] before it reached the stage of a clot, which lasts about forty days? In principle, in which of the following stages is abortion permitted:

1)      A small seed in a firm resting-place

2)      A clot

3)      A lump of flesh

4)      Boney flesh

Answer: It is not permitted to eliminate the small seed in a firm resting-place, just like abortion in any later stage.

[Question 1265]: Some spouses are afflicted with blood [genetic] diseases and are missing genes and so transmit the disease to their children, and it is extremely likely that these children will be afflicted with severe illnesses, and such children will suffer lives of permanent agony. For example, in hemophilia, the smallest wound can lead to severe bleeding and then to death or paralysis. Since it is possible to diagnose this illness in the first week of pregnancy, is it permissible to abort the fetus under such circumstances?

Answer: If the diagnosis of this disease in the fetus is definite and having and keeping such a child will cause sin, it is permissible under such circumstances to abort the fetus before it takes its first breath, but on this condition, that its blood money be paid.

[Question 1266]: What is the decision on abortion per se? What is the decision if continuing the pregnancy should threaten the life of the mother?

Answer: Abortion is a forbidden under the sharia and is not permitted under any circumstance unless continuing the pregnancy is a threat to the life of the mother. In this case, there is no problem with abortion before the first breath is taken, but after that, it is impermissible, even if continuing the pregnancy puts the life of the mother in danger, unless continuing the pregnancy threatens the life of both the mother and the fetus and there is absolutely no way of saving the child’s life, and the only way to save the life of the mother is to abort the fetus.

[Question 1267]: A woman aborts her seven month old fetus which is the result of adultery in accordance with its [or her] father’s demand. Is it obligatory upon her to pay its blood price? And should this be the case, is the mother or the father responsible for it? And in present terms, what is your opinion of the blood price’s amount?

Answer: Abortion is forbidden. Whether it is the result of adultery or at the demand of the father it does not make it permissible. Should the mother oversee the abortion, the blood price is upon her. As for the amount of the blood price, should there be a doubt in the matter, the prudent policy is correct and this blood price should be made an inheritance to one who has no inheritance.

[Question 1268]: What is the blood price of a fetus which is aborted two and a half months into its life, should it have been aborted deliberately, and to whom should it be paid?

Answer: If it is small seed in a firm resting-place, its blood price is forty dinars. Should it be a clot, sixty dinars. Should it be bones without meat, eighty dinars. This blood price is to be paid to whomever inherits from the fetus in accordance with the classes of inheritance, but an inheritor who oversaw the abortion gets no share.

[Question 1269]: If a pregnant woman is obliged to have her gums or her teeth treated and a specialist doctor prescribes surgery, is she permitted an abortion, since anesthesia and the use of X-rays cause defects n the fetus in the womb? [1 hr]

Answer: The aforementioned reasons are not to be considered for permitting abortion.

[Question 1270]: If the fetus in the womb is on the verge of certain death and its remaining in the womb in that state endangers the life of the woman, is aborting it permitted? If that woman’s husband is a follower of someone who does not consider abortion permitted under such circumstances, but the woman and her family follows someone else who does consider it permitted, what is the man’s duty under such circumstances?

Answer: Since under the hypothesis in question the issue is centered around the certain death of the child alone and the certain death of the child and his mother, and since there is no other choice but to at least save the life of the mother through aborting the fetus, and under the hypothesis in question the husband does not have the right to prevent his spouse from doing this, it is obligatory to at least act in such a way that the death of the child not be attributed to anyone.

[Question 1271]: Is an abortion permitted in the case that the seed is suspected to have been deposited by a non-Muslim or through adultery.

Answer: It is not permitted. 

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