Abortion in Islamic Countries -- Legal and Religious Aspects
Medicine and Law: World Association for Medical Law 2004; 23(1): 73-89
The debate over abortion is still controversial as ever. As one of every four people in the world is of the Muslim religion, it is important to learn more about the Islamic point of view toward this dilemma in medical ethics. The first part of this paper gives a general view of the sources of Islamic law and discusses modern developments in Islamic medical ethics regarding abortion. The second part focuses on the legal aspects of abortion in different Islamic states, dealing with the need to supply solutions to women who for different reasons wish to abort and at the same time enact laws that would not contradict Islamic principles. A study of three Muslim states (Egypt, Kuwait and Tunisia) demonstrates three different approaches toward legalizing abortion--a conservative approach, a more lenient approach, and a liberal one--all within Islamic oriented states. This leads to a conclusion that a more liberal attitude regarding abortion is possible in Islamic states, as long as traditional principles are taken into account.
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