Journal of Medical Ethics and History of Medicine 2006. 0(Suppl. 1):37-39.

A Shiite perspective toward abortion
Kiarash Aramesh

Abstract


All schools of Islamic jurisprudence regard abortion as wrong and forbidden and allow abortion only before the stage of ensoulment, if the continuation of pregnancy would endanger the mother's life or put her into intolerable difficulties. In this article we describe and assess the viewpoint of Shiite jurisprudence toward abortion.
Using a selected collection of related references, and discussion describes with experts, this article the abortion in Shiite jurisprudence.
In the Shiite jurisprudence, the ensoulment occurs after about 4 months. Before this stage, all Shiite authorities regard abortion as forbidden (Hiram) unless if continuing the pregnancy would put the mother's life in real danger or will be intolerable for her. But after that, they regard abortion as Hiram, unless in conditions in which continuing the pregnancy results in dying of both mother and fetus, but abortion will save the life of mother. However, the Shiite authorities have not accepted to legitimate abortion in unwanted pregnancies and even in pregnancies resulted from adultery (Zina) or rape.
The debate over abortion is still controversial as ever. There are some important and notable related Fatwas that make jurisprudical basis for some new and problem solving legal acts, showing the inherent and valuable flexibility of the Shiite jurisprudence in dealing with such important issues. Some related issues, such as the priority of saving the life of mother after ensoulment can be referred to jurisprudical authorities for more assessment.


Keywords


Shiite, Jurisprudence,

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