Medical Motives Leading to Abortion 1. Chronic illnesses of the kidneys and a rise in uraemia ratio in the blood, or chronic inflammation of the kidneys or bladder which attends dropsy of the kidneys, might be one reason necessitating abortion. •
However, chronic kidney inflammation does not worsen with pregnancy, except if it involves a strong microbic infection, or poisoning of the pregnancy.
2. Heart diseases: a patient suffering from heart disease does not require an abortion, as long as the illness is not class I or II. Medically, this is not considered a cause for abortion. •
If it reaches class III, or if the patient is suffering from auricular fibrillation or suffers from coronary occlusion…had previously undergone a valvotomy, and the problem returned, then abortion in this case is considered medically feasible. If a patient reaches class IV, then her situation does not permit the operation, and she must be treated until her health improves. Blood pressure, on the other hand, rarely affects pregnancy and in most cases it is possible to treat it without resorting to abortion. Abortion is never needed except in cases where there is a medical history of bleeding during pregnancy resulting from high blood pressure, especially in the nervous system or the occurrence of bleeding in the depth of the eye. Such cases may call for abortion. Conversely, poisoning during pregnancy does not occur except in late months of pregnancy and necessitates early delivery, not abortion.
3. Diseases of the respiratory system: When the lungs are affected by a chronic illness such as emphysema or in the inability of the lungs to function properly, abortion may be necessitated. • •
Tuberculosis of the lungs no longer necessitates abortion, as its cure is available and simple praise and thanks go to Allaah. Similarly, inflammation of the lungs does not call for abortion.
4. Diseases such as urinary sugar: Sugar in the urine does not call for abortion, except in some rare cases where the patient is prone to the danger of loss of sight, or chronic kidney disease as in the case of Kimme IstielWilson where the patient became blind or in a case where the kidney disease proceeded to a terminal state; in which case there is no benefit expected from the abortion.
5. Blood related diseases: some blood related diseases, which involve coagulation and defects in haemoglobin, and other defects involving coagulation are considered viable reasons calling for abortion. 6. Some chronic diseases: such as breast cancer, or that the neck of the womb that worsens with pregnancy (as a result of the presence of a hormone called oestrogen occurring in large quantities during pregnancy) is considered a reason for permitting abortion. •
Such is the case of Hodgkin’s Disease, as its treatment requires the use of radiation, which may lead to the death, or deformation of the foetus.
7. However, leukaemia (blood cancer) and cancer of the intestines or thyroid glands are not considered amongst that which calls for abortion. 8. Psychological and mental illnesses: Here, gynaecologists differ with the psychophysicists. Psychophysicists generally tend towards allowing abortion in most cases of physiological cases, however gynaecologists are of the view that few mental and physiological cases really call for abortion, and are limited to certain types of lunacy such as schizophrenia and some types of lunacy because the patient does not have the ability to look after her child. 9. Illnesses during pregnancy and child delivery: such as German Measles which causes foetal deformation, especially if the patient was affected in the first or second month of the pregnancy; whereas in the third month the percentage of deformity is reduced to about 20%. After that, the percentage is so low that it usually never calls for abortion. 10. Deformation of the baby is considered among the most important things calling for abortion, and this can be ascertained by taking a sample from the amniotic fluid surrounding the baby or photographing the baby with ultrasound waves, If the child is found to be deformed it is possible to perform the abortion and terminate the pregnancy. Of course, this must be with the permission of the parents. 11. There are other surgical cases calling for abortion such as the collapse of the womb, or the existence of a slit between the bladder and either the womb or the vagina, especially if surgery was performed prior to the pregnancy in such cases, as the occurrence of pregnancy and delivery quite often leads to the return of the condition, which may worsen. 12. Diseases of the physiology of the mother: which may make delivery very difficult such as Marifaan disease, partial formation of bones or curvature of the spine (hunchback). These situations may call for abortion, even though in most cases they don’t; rather they may necessitate removing the child through a Caesarean section.
13. Sickness to do with a weak or fluctuating immune system of the mother: such as a reduction in normal immunity, sickness of the red corpuscles, or inflammation of the joints opposite the lungs. 14. Hereditary diseases: there are certain hereditary conditions that may be transmitted to the baby such as Huntington’s disease, Tay Sacs, other hereditary diseases, or defects which affect the chromosomes such as Downs Syndrome, which was formally known as Mongolism, or other diseases. • •
Their presence may be confirmed through tests or by taking a sample of the amniotic fluid or by other medical procedures such as ultrasound scanning. Similarly, some of these conditions have become easy to treat with the baby still in its mother’s womb, such as the existence of dropsy in the head, which makes terminating the pregnancy through abortion, no longer medically necessary. Most hereditary diseases, conditions and physical deformity resulting from defects in the chromosomes are still beyond medical knowledge. Thus, doctors advise in such situations, (which is very rare Alhamdulillah) an abortion if the two parents agree to that. An example is the case of a child without a brain, a child with no kidneys, with a seriously damaged spinal cord, or with a severe deformity of the heart.
(Dr. Muhammad Manaar) stated in his book, “Controlling Human Fertility”1, that: “The doctor must not just rely on considering the illness as hereditary, he should seek the opinion of specialists in hereditary disease to ascertain the extent the foetus may possibly be affected, before taking any sample from the amniotic fluid, as taking a sample may increase the risk of abortion, though the percentage of risk is low. Similarly, he must know the position of the patient; whether or not she wants abortion in case a particular hereditary disease affects her child, such as sickle cell anaemia. Therefore, if the mother does not want an abortion there is no need to take the sample in the first place. As for radiation used in diagnosis and pills such as aspirin and Cortisone that a pregnant lady may take, the danger of the child being deformed (as a result) is negligent and hence is not considered a reason to perform an abortion.”2
AtTahakkum fi Alkhusuubatul Insaaniyyah, pp 242243. Taken from the book: “Mushkilatul Ijhaadh: Diraasatun Tibbiyyah Fiqhiyyah,” Dr. Muhammad Manaar.