The New Age of Infanticide: Muslim Musings on Abortion

Sometime ago the Australian Medical Association asked our medical department for our vote on legalizing Mifeprestone (RU486) in Australia in yet another attempt to make non-invasive abortion more accessible to Australian women. At that time, it took a woman about AU$120 to get an abortion done as medicare pays for the rest. There were about 84,000 abortions performed in Australia in 2003. Pro-choice argue that even this is too restrictive on women, especially on those women in rural areas, so they want the medicare itemed RU486 to be legalized. It is for this reason that attempts are underway to de-criminalize abortion in those states that require a ‘lawful’ abortion to be performed, even though there has not been a successful prosecution for unlawful abortion since 1970s. At 84,000 abortions a year, I strongly doubt that they are all legal abortions and in reality, practise is more common than we are led to believe.

Is there a need to make abortion even more accessible to women, especially since the age of women asking for abortion is getting lower and lower?

I watched with amazement at the 60,000 signatures and hand prints collected to prevent the capital punishment in Singapore being applied on convicted Australian drug smuggler, Nguyen, arguing to save his life. ‘Life is sacred’ we are told, ‘Life is the greatest gift’ – amazing statements from a people arguing for every ease to end that very life! On one hand, remove the life of an innocent soul because of perceived inconvenience and on the other hand, save the life of one guilty of a crime that will destroy thousands of others!

This, I believe, is a testament to the perversion of logic in the minds of those who hold these views – those who, in their struggle to have the perfect lifestyle, crown convenience and ‘choice’ as king and queen. To make abortion even more accessible, is I believe, completely immoral. Such an act would put the monumental www.atoledo.com decision of termination of life to even younger women, and at a time when their judgment and wisdom is clouded by circumstance.

I do not believe that society can ever learn to forgive women who kill their living children. Considering the fact that 90% of abortions are performed in the first 90 days since inception, the problem seems to lie in people’s interpretation as to when life truly starts.

The Carnegie stages of human development show that the development of all body organs are completed by 56 days. The heart starts beating at 25 days and the first impulses from the brain can be felt at 40 days. Islamically and medically, life ends with brain death so too it must start with it as well. If 90% of abortions are performed before 90 days, then it seems the vast majority of abortions are actually performed on a living soul. I believe, to not provide this information in counselling women who want to have an abortion, is moral and medical negligence and perversion, and not in accordance with medical ethics of beneficence and non-maleficence.

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Islamically the doctor who performs abortion is obliged to pay 20% blood money since classical scholars of fiqh consider the baby in conception, to have the probability of life, but not fully alive as life in those times could only be proven on delivery. In our time, I believe modern technology has changed all that and abortion must carry 100% blood money – approximately AU$45,000 in 2006.

If morality and human ethics will be neglected for convenience and choice, then perhaps it is the blood money that will stop them. If that too fails then all that is left is the hadeeth of our beloved Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam: “If you have no shame, then do as you wish.”

“And when the infant buried alive with be questioned, for what reason she was killed.” [Quran 81:8-9]

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22 responses to “The New Age of Infanticide: Muslim Musings on Abortion”

  1. sincethestorm says:

    Many healthcare professionals in the US do not wish to prescribe or fill the day after pill that terminates the pregnancy if conception happened within the last 24 hours. So, alhamdulillah there are still some people in the US that are God fearing.

  2. Anon says:

    I am against abortion. I personally could not imagine having one, but my problem with many people who rally against the pro-choice movement and want to see abortion made illegal is that they have no concern for the mothers or the babies once they are born or during the pregnancy for that matter. They praise her for not having an abortion and stooping so low, but in the same breath they call her a slut and a whore and her child a bastard. Not to mention that many times her family will completely disown her, a case I’ve seen personally. So yes, she has had her baby but what exactly is she supposed to do after that? She’s been deserted by everyone, probably ends up on welfare or some other government handout program, which only gives people another thing to rail about. Quite frankly, this does not seem very conducive to decreasing the number of abortions or its accessibility. If anything I’d think more unwed pregnant women would want them. This is especially true in the M.E. where you can assume that virtually all single, pregnant women get abortions, DESPITE its illegality.
    Decreasing the accessibility of abortion will not solve this issue IMHO. The solution has to come from another source, namely the resources given to single women after they have had their babies and during their pregnancies.

  3. Anjum says:

    re: the above comment – just to clarify, RU486, which is what is discussed in this post, is not the same as “morning after pill” aka emergency contraception pill. The EC pill prevents implantation, which isn’t the same thing as aborting an already “in-progress” implanted pregnancy.

    And as for doctors or pharmacists not prescribing/filling Rx’s because they are morally against it – I totally disagree with that. As a healthcare professional, they should put the patient’s (woman’s) rights above their moral code — just like with patients who have a DNR order.

    Whether they (or you or I) think it’s right for the patient to take the EC or to abort is beside the point. The govt law states that the Rx is legal and therefore the patient is within her rights to get it! Who is the Dr or Pharmacist to tell her she must have the baby?

  4. Joe P. says:

    Great article! It was well argued. Thanks for taking the time to enlighten me on this important topic.

  5. Anjum says:

    (sorry, my comment referred to sincethestorm’s comment, not the Anon. above mine.)

  6. abu ameerah says:

    This is a nice read…even though I don’t care for the website/magazine…the article might compliment this post:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/comment-mathewes-green012203.asp

  7. AnonyMouse says:

    As-salaamu ‘alaikum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatu,

    Subhan’Allah, I just came across an article in Maclean’s magazine (dated March 12) that said the Greek Cypriot government is considering actually *paying* women to have children – so many abortions have been taking place that the poulation birth rate has been dropping drastically.

    The really interesting bit? From the end of the article:

    “While the Greek population has been stagnant, the Turkish population has swelled – fulled in part by immigrants from mainland Turkey – raising the real possibility that Muslim Turkish Cypriots will one day outnumber Christian Greek Cypriots and tip the balance of power in their favour.”

  8. Niqaabis says:

    As salaam ‘alaikum

    Jazaak Allaahu khairan for the article it was an interesting read

    It’s upsetting to see how high the abortion rate is, the UK is no different, and what is even more upsetting abortion has become common amongst the muslim communities

    A Muslim doctor once highlighted how young Muslim girls would go to her collogues for an abortion due to pregnancy outside of marriage

    I think the root problem for the majority of them is the obstacles faced in getting married (of course this does not excuse the act)

    Wallaahu a’alaam

  9. Anon. says:

    I wish my mother had aborted me.

  10. Amad says:

    And Anon. : Why is that? And what difference would it have been if she had aborted you or if she murders you now? Wouldn’t both be equally wrong?

    Life comes from Allah. A perfectly wholesome human corpse, even with the best parts from other corpses would never come to life. So, why would you wish that your mother had done such a crime: to take away what Allah entrusted?

  11. Anon. says:

    Bro, I have problems, I need help

  12. Amad says:

    Anon. you can mention them here for reader input (we have some of the smartest readers in the blog world)… or you can email us at info@muslimmatters.org and inshalah we will see if we can help you.

  13. Umar says:

    Assalamu aleikum.

    The issue is not only one of blood money, but also criminal responsibility. Abortion is a crime against the rights of Allah (S.W.T.) from the moment of conception regardless of implantation; it becomes the specific crime of murder when the ruh has entered. As it takes only one male abortionist to murder the babies of many thousands of women, perhaps this may help explain why the majority of the inhabitants of the hellfire are women. Allah (S.W.T.) knows best.

  14. Alexandra Lynch says:

    As a non-Muslim, I have a question about some situations that come up, and wondered what the Muslim answer is to them.

    If the child itself is wanted, but it is learned that it has genetic defects (brain outside the skull, etc.) that are incompatible with life, let alone birth?

    If pregnancy, carried to term, would kill the mother or cause irreparable physical harm/permanently disable her?

    I am not trolling, but asking with a humble wish to learn a Muslim view on these situations. I know several women who have struggled with them.

  15. ibnabeeomar says:

    Alexandra, Thank you for visiting and i hope you have enjoyed the site.

    in a nutshell, Islam does allow for abortions in those types of situations provided it is before 120 days (or in one opinion 40 days). you can refer here for more info:

    http://www.islamtoday.com/show_detail_section.cfm?q_id=435&main_cat_id=19

    http://islam-qa.com/index.php?ref=12118&ln=eng&txt=abortion

    http://islam-qa.com/index.php?ref=42321&ln=eng&txt=abortion

    i hope that gives at least an overview on the issue.

  16. Dawud Israel says:

    One argument for abortion says that nature has made women with an inequality in regards to their pregnancy. Abortion merely tries to even out this inequality.

    What can be said to that?

  17. starfly says:

    I would like to know -Is it obligatory for a unwed muslim girl to abort her child for the honour of her family?
    Is the solution to listen to her parents no matter what in this situation?
    Or is she able to do what she determine to be right for the preservation of this life put into her by Allah?
    Is her obligation now toward her unborn child?

  18. ibnabeeomar says:

    starfly – that question definitely needs some imam involvement but i dont think they can force you into abortion for ‘honor’

  19. Starfly says:

    I woud like some more advice,please.
    I have been reading up everywhere about this situation. My conclusion has been that the act is out of the equation now, and surely the most important party is the unborn child??
    Parents are important -and now i am one too -regardless of the way my child has been brought into the world. I have a responsibility to this child.
    I was not a type of girl to have so easliy done Zina. I may have committed Zina, but i feel that all happens for a reason does it not -Allah has a purpose for every one and everything?
    What type of advice can an Imam give with regards to perhaps -how my life should be after zina? I am unsure as to cultural ideas and religious ideas. It has been very obvious that in life today both these clash and contradict in many ways …thus confusing the already confused muslim individual!!!!
    I need some helpful advice in knowing where life should go for someone like this in Islam?
    Is it eternal condemnation from family and community? Should one hide the child away from the family?-incurring in lies? Or is one allowed to resume life, making the best out of the situation and think of the child as a blessing, making it sound, safe and secure …and as normal as possible for the child with its mother and the islamic way of life i chose for my child?

  20. Amad says:

    starfly, if you submitted your correct emails on your comments, then pls check your email with regards to your questions.

  21. Starfly says:

    I have replied to your email enquiring about my email address, i hope that you have received it! thanx.

  22. scared123 says:

    i have been reading this article and the questions and answers of other people and im in the same Predicament as STARFLY and i would really like some feedback! ASAP

    scared and don’t know what to do.. please reply

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