Ajmal Masoor Discussing the ethic of Abortion
This morning I am taking part in the debate about abortion on BBC1’s flagship programme Sunday Morning live right now. The question we are addressing is – should the abortion laws be changed in the UK?
In Islam the ethics governing abortion is clear:
- All lives are sacred, it should never be violated or destroyed. Taking one life unreasonably (without a legal reason and without a due legal process) is tantamount to taking the lives of the whole of humanity.
- A baby in the womb of a mother is also a human being and has a soul. The foetus also has rights. The baby must be protected and nurtured. In the Arabic language mother’s womb, Raham, is similar to the one of God’s Divine names – Al-Rahman (the most merciful).
- A mother’s life and health is of paramount importance. If her health is in danger termination of a pregnancy is allowed at any stage of the pregnancy. When Islam refers to the mother’s health it takes into account all aspect of physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual health.
- According to Islam there are various stages of foetal development. The two significant ones that are stated in the Islamic traditions are 40 days when the foetus begins to take shape with internal and external organs, and 120 days when the soul is united with the body.
- According to majority of the Islamic theologians any termination of pregnancy could be considered before 120 days but after the soul has entered the body any termination could only be sanctioned if the mother’s life is in danger or the baby has been diagnosed with severe disease or condition that would debilitate the baby from a reasonable quality of life.
- Any other reasons for abortion, according to Islam is forbidden.
Islam proposes a more responsible attitude towards sex and sexuality by making sexual ethics absolute. The debate about abortion therefore, becomes easier to manage.