Deoband''s latest fatwa: Abortion only on hakeem''s advice

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New Delhi, Feb 11 (PTI) From now on, ask a ''holyMuslim doctor'' before you go for an abortion, the Darul Uloom-Deoband has ruled in its latest fatwa.

The highest Muslim school has ruled, "If a holy Muslimdoctor advises that a woman is unable to bear birth pangs,then a less than three months old pregnancy can be terminatedbut if it is more than three months old, the abortion isabsolutely unlawful".

The Deoband has issued this fatwa in response to thequestion of a Muslim couple who sought its permission to aborttheir third child, after a doctor had advised them to wait forat least thirty months before the birth of another child.

However, the medical fraternity does not endorse thisfatwa.

"Terminating a more than three months old pregnancycan certainly be dangerous but why should one seek a hakeem''sadvice if the pregnancy is less than three months old?", asksDr Fauzia Khanam, a gynaecologist, adding, that it is alwaysbetter to refer to a professional doctor.

Believing that only a professionally qualified doctoris best suited to deal with the complications of pregnancy,Dr Anjum Ansari, another gynaecologist, says, "a lot of peoplewho prefer to approach a hakeem only harm themselves".

In an earlier fatwa, the Deoband had said that it islawful to use contraceptive methods only on the permission ofa hakeem.

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