Therapeutic Abortion: Ensuring the Health and Survival of Mothers

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

1 Associate professor, University of Tehran, Farabi College

2 PhD Candidate, University of Religions and Denominations

Abstract

Siqt janin (abortion) is defined as the intentional or unintentional action that is performed on a pregnant woman, which compromises the life or the foetal development of an unborn baby, such that it dies or cannot continue living out of the uterus. Due to scientific and technological advancement in medicine, the controversy of therapeutic abortion is very much at the forefront of modern discussions. It is also a matter of dispute amongst Muslim jurists. Initial positions and rulings of jurists differ with regards to abortion in the first four months of pregnancy, which is prior to ensoulment (nafkh ruh). Although there is a difference in opinion among Sunni jurists regarding abortion before ensoulment, there is a consensus that under normal circumstances, after this critical juncture, it is forbidden. All Shi’i jurists, however, deem abortion without due reason, as forbidden regardless of the stage in pregnancy. Even so, most jurists permit the abortion of the foetus prior to ensoulment with the condition that there is substantial danger to expectant mother’s health. Moreover, if there is danger to the mother’s life, then some consider abortion permissible even after ensoulment.

Keywords


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