Islam & Abortion

Dr. Arafat El Ashi

One of the burning issues these days in Canada and in all Western countries is that of Abortion. In the absence of a specific law on abortion, the provincial governments are, in fact, groping in the dark. One court in Ontario allowed a woman to have abortion. The interesting thing, however, is that on her way out of the court, she announced that she already had abortion but she repented for doing so simply because she returned back to her boy-friend. So she no more supports the pro-abortion campaign in Canada. This statement was hailed by what is called pro-lifers in North America.
Another woman from Quebec, called Chantal D, asked the court there to allow her have abortion of her 21-week pregnancy. The court prevented her from doing so. The woman, however, insisted and defied the court's judgment. She did have an abortion. Not only this but she resorted to the Supreme Court to change that decision. The Supreme Court gave its approval and repealed the prevention decision.
In the light of the above, it may be asked here: What is the attitude of Islam towards the issue of abortion? Is it true that women have full control over their bodies and they can have abortion anytime they wish? Or does Islam agree with those who say: "No, the fetus is a human being and has full human rights"? It has the right to live and to be protected. So it is a crime to have abortion? How does Islam look at this issue?
Basically, Islam considers life as a sacred gift from God Almighty. No one is allowed to take or stop the life of anyone else except by way of justice or according to the Islamic law. Thus, the Holy Quran says: "Say: Come, I will rehearse what God has really prohibited you from: Join nothing as equal with Him; be good to your parents, kill not your children on a plea of poverty; We provide sustenance . . . . . .

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