Fatwas on Abortion
Q1253: Is it permissible to have an abortion because of economic problems?
A: It is not permissible to have an abortion merely because of economic problems.
Q1254: In the early months of her pregnancy the doctor told the mother that continuing with the pregnancy might pose a danger to her life. He further advised that the baby would be born deformed. In the light of his findings, the doctor advised the mother to have an abortion. Is this course of action permissible? And is it permissible to terminate the pregnancy before the soul enters the body of the fetus?
A: Having a deformed baby is not a legal reason to terminate the pregnancy, even before the soul enters the fetus. As for the danger it poses to the mother’s life should she carry on with the pregnancy, there is no objection to aborting the fetus prior to the soul entering the fetus provided that it is based on the advice of a reliable who is a specialist.
Q1255: With the help of modern technology, doctors can now identify the congenital deformities of the fetus during pregnancy. Because of the difficulties babies born with deformities face in life, is it permissible to terminate the pregnancy if it is found by a reliable specialist that the fetus has developed any deformity?
A: It is not permissible to abort the fetus at any stage for the mere reason that the fetus is deformed or for future difficulties the born child might encounter.
Q1256: Is it permissible to abort a fertilized ovum that has implanted in the uterine wall before it turns into a clot-like structure which normally takes forty days to develop? And in which of the following stages is abortion not allowed, i.e., the embryo implanted in the uterine wall, the clot, the lump of flesh, the bones (before the soul enters the fetus)?
A: It is not permissible to get rid of the fertilized ovum after it settles in the uterus, nor is it permissible to abort the fetus at any of the later stages.
Q1257: Some couples have congenital blood diseases due to having abnormal genes. They could transmit the disease to their offspring and there is a great probability that the children would be severely affected and will suffer much throughout their lives. An example of this is hemophilia in which even slight injury causes sever uncontrollable bleeding which can end in death or paralysis. Considering the fact that it is now possible to diagnose this disease in the fetus during the first few weeks of pregnancy, is it permissible to have an abortion in such cases?
A: Should the diagnosis be definite and if having such a baby and maintaining him/her entails great difficulty and hardship, it is, in this case, permissible to abort the fetus before the soul enters its body. However, it is an obligatory caution to pay its blood money.
Q1258: What is the ruling in the matter of abortion itself? Is the ruling different if keeping the baby poses a danger to the mother’s life?
A: Aborting the fetus is ḥarām by Islamic law. It is not permissible at any count, barring pregnancy which poses danger to the mother’s life. In this case, there is no objection to terminating the pregnancy before the soul has entered the fetus. Should the spirit enter the fetus, it is not permissible to abort it, even if the pregnancy spells danger to the mother’s life, except in the event where carrying on with the pregnancy could prove fatal to both the fetus and the mother, and there is no way to save the baby’s life but it is possible to save the mother’s life through abortion.
Q1259: A mother has aborted her seven-month-old illegitimately conceived fetus at the request of the father. Should blood money be paid? Assuming that it is a must, who should pay it, i.e., the mother or the father? How much is the blood money nowadays according to your opinion?
A: It is ḥarām to abort the fetus, even if it was conceived due to adultery. The request of the father does not justify the action. The woman should bear the blood money if she had taken the initiative to abort the fetus and performed the action that resulted in the abortion herself. As for the amount of blood money, it is doubtful in the given case. However, as a matter of caution, a settlement should be reached. This blood money has the ruling of the inheritance of a person who died with no relatives as heirs.
Q1260: How much is the blood money for deliberately aborting a fetus of two and a half months and who should pay it?
A: If it is a clot-like structure, the amount of blood money is forty dinars. If it is a flesh-like structure, it becomes sixty dinars but when the fetus enters into the stage of a bone, but without the flesh, the blood money is eighty dinars. The blood money should be paid to the inheritors of the fetus, taking into consideration the classes of inheritors. However, the person to whom the action of aborting is attributed must be denied a share in the inheritance.
Q1261: On the advice of the doctor treating her, a pregnant woman found it necessary to have an operation for her gums and teeth. Is it permissible for her to have an abortion on the grounds that the anesthesia and x-ray are going to deform the fetus?
A: The reason mentioned in the question is not valid for terminating the pregnancy.
Q1262: If it is known for sure that the baby will suffer intrauterine death and continuing the pregnancy proves dangerous to the mother’s life, is it permissible to abort it? And assuming that the husband follows in taqlīd a mujtahid who is of the opinion that such a case does not warrant abortion, whereas the woman and her relatives follow another mujtahid who sees it otherwise, what should the husband do?
A: The scenario the question suggests is that of the inevitable death of the fetus alone or the death of the mother and her baby. If this is the case, there is no alternative but to abort the fetus in order to save the mother. As the question goes, the husband has no right to prevent his wife from aborting the fetus. However, it is obligatory, if possible, to act in such a way that killing the fetus should not be seen as the responsibility of anybody.
Q1263: Is it permissible to abort the fetus at the stage of the fertilized egg if the pregnancy has come about as a result of a mistaken sexual intercourse by a non-Muslim or as a result of adultery?
A: It is not permissible.
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