Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures

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Reproduction: Abortion and Islam: Overview
(2,435 words)

The term abortion denotes the purposeful termination of a pregnancy. It may also mean the spontaneous expulsion of the fetus, but this is more often referred to as a miscarriage. Reasoning by analogy from Qurʾānic injunctions not to kill children, Muslim legal scholars judged abortion to be analogous to killing a child and therefore prohibited it.

Abortion can be a far more complicated matter to adjudicate than the killing of a child. There are times when Muslim religious authorities recognize that abortion may be a better alternative than bearing th…

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Bowen, Donna Lee, “Reproduction: Abortion and Islam: Overview”, in: Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures, General Editor Suad Joseph. Consulted online on 08 December 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1872-5309_ewic_EWICCOM_0188>
First published online: 2009

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