Author: Kiarash Aramesh
Medical Ethics and History of Medicine Research Center, Medical Sciences/ University of Tehran, Iran;
The debate over abortion remains controversial as ever. This article offers an explanation of the main Islamic attitudes towards abortion and areas of need to change in the related rules and regulations in Islamic communities with a special attention to Iran. A selected collection of Islamic references, as well as discussions with experts have been used as a basis for discussion and interpretation of Islamic views. Almost all of Muslim scholars and authorities regard ethical dilemmas surrounding abortion as jurisprudential topics. Obviously, all schools of Islamic jurisprudence regard abortion as wrong and forbidden (Hiram). On the other hand, they allow abortion, before the point in time in which the ensoulment takes place, only when physicians declare with reasonable certainty that the continuation of pregnancy will endanger the woman’s life or put her in intolerable difficulties. The Iranian parliament has ratified the Therapeutic Abortion Act, by which, therapeutic abortion should be based on diagnosis of such fetal or maternal diseases that go ahead to unbearable burden for the mother or endangering her health.
The Therapeutic Abortion Act can be considered as a significant improvement regarding women’s health in an Islamic country. Such improvements show the inherent and valuable flexibility of Islamic jurisprudence encountering new emerging