Via Media

Via Media

Abortion rebellion in England

Polling says women want restrictions?

Evidence of a widespread public demand for the government to further restrict women’s right to have an abortion is revealed in a remarkable Observer opinion poll. The findings have reignited the highly-charged debate on abortion, and increased the pressure on Tony Blair to review the current time limits.

The survey by MORI shows that 47 per cent of women believe the legal limit for an abortion should be cut from its present 24 weeks, and another 10 per cent want the practice outlawed altogether. Among the population overall, reducing the upper limit was the preferred option backed by the largest proportion of respondents, 42 per cent, made up of a 36-47 per cent split among men and women.

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posted January 29, 2006 at 11:34 am

Another country that’s learning that abortion isn’t some blessing, that it’s a curse women are far better off without.

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posted January 29, 2006 at 2:37 pm

Good news. Note, however, that the data only support decreasing the time abortion is permitted to 20 or 22 weeks gestation, and there is no indication whether it is believed there should remain exceptions for maternal life/health or fetal defect after that time. Over 90% of abortions are performed within the first 12-13 weeks of gestation, and very few are performed after 20 weeks at present.

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posted January 29, 2006 at 4:59 pm

What is the Islamic position on abortion? Is it always wrong, sometimes wrong, etc.?
how are demographic changes in Britain changing perceptions of abortion?

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Tom Haessler

posted January 29, 2006 at 6:21 pm

From THE COMPLETE IDIOT’S GUIDE TO ISLAM by Yahiya Emerick, [an American convert to Islam], pp. 51 and 52.
Abortion and Islam
The Shari’ah (Islamic Law) states that the fetus has rights. No one [sic] has the right to kill a baby in the womb, especially when it has no defense. Abortion is quite forbidden. Islam considers it to be taking the right of Allah to allow – or not to allow – a pregnancy to come to full term. Despite popular ideas today about personal choice and freedom to birth or abort, Islam does not change with the times and stands squarely against ROE V.
WADE. There is no trend or tradition, however, of opposing abortionists through individual acts of violence, so in that regard Muslims have been hesitant to fully embrace all the tenents of the Right-to-Life movement, which is known to have a radical fringe element.
As a rebuttal to the main reason for people aborting their babies, the Qu’ran has formulated this reply: A lack of resources is no excuse to harm a fetus. The Qu’ran commands people not to kill their offspring because they are afraid of being poor or because they feel they won’t be able to take care of them. God will provide for the newborn SOMEHOW, the Qu’ran states, so let the baby live.
Equally forbidden, as an excuse for abortion, is the desire to have a male child over a female one. Throughout the world, many people misuse sonograms to learn the gender of the baby in the womb, aborting the baby if it will be a girl. This problem is especially prevalent in India and China, and Muslim scholars, basing their opinion on clear and direct Qu’ranic principles, have denounced the practice as sexist. A pregnancy is considered a gift and a trust from Allah not to be terminated by our choice. The Prophet Muhammad said, “Be kind to daughters and treat them well, for I am also the father of daughters.”
Are there any exceptions to the rule that abortion is forbidden in Islam? Yes, but only one. A principle of Islamic Law is that if there are only two bad choices, then take the lesser of the two evils. While the Law does not accept abortion, the Law does make an allowance when it is necessary to save the life of the mother. The principle behind this exception is that it is better to keep the life of a wife and mother than to prefer someone who has no social relations yet. So in very clear terms, Islam is extremely pro-life. Only God can decide whether the developing fetus should proceed to term, not us. Even rape or incest is not grounds for an abortion, because the unborn child can’t be killed simply on account of the horrible way he or she was conceived. Why should the baby have to pay for the crime?

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Tom Haessler

posted January 29, 2006 at 6:35 pm

The other popular low-brow introduction to Islam called ISLAM FOR DUMMIES has a shorter entry (p. 194). The author is Malcolm Clark. He taught religion at Butler University for 30 years.
Abortion is prohibited (Sura 17:41) except in order to save the woman’s life. A fetus has rights of inheritance. Traditional Islam set quickening at four months, so abortion after four months is murder.
Hanbalites, however, allow abortion up to that point.. During the Bosnian war, an Egyptian mufti (a scholar trained in Islamic law) issued a fatwa (legal opinion) allowing Muslim Bosnian women raped by Serb soldiers to aot a pregnancy within the four-month period.
NOTES (from Tom Haessler):
1. A Sura is a chapter in the Qu’ran.
2. The Hanbalite school of law is the most conservative of the four Sunni schools of jurisprudence. The other three are Hanifite, Malikite, and Shafi’ite.
3. Hanbalite law is strong today only in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Omen
4. Shi’ites have their own school of jurisprudence called Jafarite.

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Donna V.

posted January 29, 2006 at 6:44 pm

Tom beat me to the punch on this one. According to the Islamic web site, Muslim views on the issue have not always been uniformly against abortion:
For the last 1400 years, the majority of the Muslims were misled by their scholars into believing that abortion in the first three months of pregnancy is permissible. While disregarding the clear orders in the Quran, these Muslims built their conclusion on fabricated hadiths
It looks like Muslims are in general agreement these days that abortion is only permissable to save the life of the mother.
A few years ago, I heard Daniel Schorr on NPR reporting from London. He had much praise for Britain and explicitly compared the blase attitude toward abortion he found there with the vulgar and embarrassing pro-lifers in this country. See how much more sophisticated the English are, Schorr said. They wouldn’t dream of creating an unseemly fuss over such a thing! (And that’s undoubtably true of the people who hang around with Daniel Schorr, no matter which side of the pond they’re on.)
Apparently, thank God, the issue is not as settled as Schorr thought it was.

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posted January 29, 2006 at 8:30 pm

“Muslims have been hesitant to fully embrace all the tenents of the Right-to-Life movement, which is known to have a radical fringe element.”
Well then, perhaps they should consider not embracing Islam. Only their violent radicalism isn’t at the fringe…

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Jay Anderson

posted January 29, 2006 at 9:38 pm

You won’t often see me noting something in which European countries are superior to the U.S.
But abortion is actually one of those areas where Europe is better (albeit marginally). There, the people have a say in the matter. Here, the Supreme Court has decided to write abortion into the Constitution so that we don’t have the option of setting time limits, etc. We’re stuck with abortion on demand right up until the moment of birth, at least until the Court overrules or significantly limits Roe, or until we amend the Constitution.

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posted January 29, 2006 at 9:44 pm

. . .Muslims have been hesitant to fully embrace all the tenents of the Right-to-Life movement, which is known to have a radical fringe element.
Indeed, the extreme Muslim reluctance to embrace anything with even a hint of “radical fringe element” is the stuff of legend. For that reason alone, it is easy to see, the Right-to-Life movement would be dead on arrival in the Islamic world.

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Tim Lacy

posted January 29, 2006 at 9:45 pm

This is an informative post (the initial one). It’s good to have one less contra position to deal with (i.e. The Europeans do _____).

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Donna V.

posted January 29, 2006 at 11:03 pm

Actually, I think this might have more to do with some Briton’s change of heart than Islam does. From Michelle Malkin’s blog:
“All of Britain was buzzing last week after a tabloid published highly controversial photos-not of a topless supermodel or two female pop singers kissing or Prince William in a grass skirt, but of angelic babies smiling in the womb.
The ultrasound images, taken between 26 and 34 weeks of conception, were released by Dr. Stuart Campbell and widely circulated on the Internet via the Drudge Report. Campbell’s an obstetrician at the privately-run Create Healthcare clinic in London. For the past two years, the medical facility has offered state-of-the art 3-D/4-D scanning equipment services to expectant parents. Campbell performs an average of 30 scans a week. His outspoken enthusiasm for this blessed technology is refreshing. “Parents love them,” he told the Mirror. “I hear so many couples laughing when they see the pictures – it’s wonderful.” ”
“Blessed technology” is right. We discuss how medical “advances” can be used for evil purposes frequently on this blog – it is a wonderful thing to see technology which affirms what pro-lifers have known all along – that’s a human being in there, not just a clump of tissue!

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