August 21, 2008

Life is sacred – preserve it!

Right from the moment of conception a bond of trust, love and dependence is formed between a mother and her child where her body, mind and soul prepare to nurture and nourish the child and give him/her the best possible start in life. This unique journey through conception, pregnancy and birth is a miracle in itself wherein one can experience life in caring for a life. This encompasses many facets of joy, love, sacrifice and even pain at times. Despite these difficulties, mothering can be an enriching experience.

There has been a lot of hype in the media recently about changing abortion laws and legalising it. The whole idea of ending the life of an unborn child – no matter what the reason – makes me sick to the stomach. I cannot understand how someone can be so inhumane and so selfish as to think only about themselves and commit such a hideous act. There are so many couples out there who are willing to trade all they have in exchange to be blessed with an offspring and on the other hand there are people who are hasty to get rid of the blessing God has bestowed upon them. Little do they realise that the innocent being inside them – is a part of them and has a life of its’ own! It’s clearly murder. If they were to kill a child after it was born they’d be prosecuted. Then why should abortion be any different?

Before I go ahead with this article I’d like to briefly mention the different methods of abortion. I am sure many of us are unaware of the actual procedures involved. I’d like to warn you though that what you are going to read is quite disturbing. But I think it’s something we all should know.

How is abortion performed?

The method of abortion varies according to the stage of pregnancy and the size of the unborn baby. The most common method used in the first 12 weeks is suction aspiration. In this procedure the cervix is forced open by inserting rods (dilators) of increasing sizes. A hollow tube with a knife-ending tip called a cannula, which is attached to a very powerful vacuum inserted into the womb and the unborn child is sucked down the tube in pieces. If the head is too large it may be crushed in order to be removed. Another method used in the first trimester is the dilation and curettage (D&C). The cervix is dilated in the same way and a curette or scraping instrument is used to scrape the unborn child (in pieces) from the womb. The dilation and evacuation (D&E) method is used after the 12th week as the unborn child is now much larger and his bones are harder. Small forceps are now used to dismember the body and crush the unborn child's head before removal. The dilation and extraction (D&X or Partial-Birth) method of abortion is currently being used in many countries on unborn babies over 20 weeks. This method is particularly disturbing as some of these babies are of the same age being nurtured and cared for in premature wards. The cervix is now very widely dilated and the abortionist inserts forceps into the womb. Grabbing hold of one of the baby's legs, he/she then draws the unborn child from the birth canal until only the head is undelivered, therefore now partially born. He/she then stabs a sharp instrument into the base of the skull, inserts a suction apparatus and the contents of the skull are then sucked out. The deceased and limp baby is then 'evacuated' from the womb. All of the above procedures are performed under anaesthetic either local, local plus twilight or general anaesthetic and predominantly in private day clinics. Anaesthetic is not given to the unborn child. Less common procedures include Prostaglandins. This is a drug which induces intense labour at any stage of pregnancy and the child is expelled from the womb. In some cases the child may be delivered alive, in which case it is usually left to die, or it may be poisoned before birth. Another method, which is not commonly used as it involves the woman being admitted to hospital, is the saline method. It is used in the second trimester (3 to 6 months). Some of the amniotic fluid is removed and replaced with a highly concentrated salt solution. At this stage of development the unborn child is breathing and swallowing this fluid and now the salt will burn and poison his/her lungs, stomach and intestines. His/her delicate skin is also burned. He/she struggles, haemorrhages, goes into convulsions and dies within a few hours. The mother then goes into labour and delivers the dead or dying baby. Sometimes the baby survives. The Hysterotomy is like a mini Caesarean section however the baby is usually too young to survive or is put aside to die.

Going over what I’ve included above, I am sure you will agree that abortion is just another name for brutal murder. It’s shocking how the so called ‘family planning’ centres offer abortion as one of their ‘services’. They make it look like something so casual, that no one even thinks twice about what they are doing. I cannot understand how a medical professional can end someone’s life when they are trained to save lives! It’s true how they say only half of the patients that enter an abortion clinic come out alive. I’ve seen some footage floating around on the internet which shows US images of a foetus being aborted. It’s saddening to see the look of sheer horror and pain on the face of the foetus while the procedure is being performed. Looks like it is crying out in despair shouting out to his mom – how could you?! Just as it is said that it’s your body and you have a right to do whatever you choose with your body, the same thing applies to the little being inside you. Despite being in you, the child has a right to live, a right to experience the many facets of life – he is a separate person – with a soul of its own.

Society has advanced but this progress hasn’t always been good. There is moral degradation and people’s minds have fragmented and become self-centred. You might argue that things aren’t as black and white as they appear. There might be a lot of reasons for which a person might be treading down this path. But I think it’s important here for us to treat the cause rather than the symptom. There has been an increase in the number of teen pregnancies, unplanned pregnancies and pregnancies resulting from abuse. It would be useful to step back and access the situation and try to work towards avoiding these in the first place, rather than encouraging it to happen and then offering options such as abortion. It doesn’t make sense. We’re going to be stuck in a vicious circle, where the unborn foetus, which bears no responsibility whatsoever, pays the price.

Alhamdulilah for Islam. It truly is a way of life, where we have everything laid down for us by Allah (swt). The basic principle concerning abortion is that it is haraam and is not allowed from the moment of conception when it becomes a new being and is “placed in a place of safety” [cf. al-Mursalaat 77:21], i.e., the womb. It is not permissible to abort a pregnancy at any stage unless there is a legitimate reason, and within very precise limits. If a woman was to abort her child, then it is due upon her and everyone else involved to pay (diyah) blood money and the kafaarah (expiation) must be offered. The diyah should be paid to the heirs of the foetus, but his killer should not take any of it. The expiation for killing is to free a slave; if that is not possible then one must fast for two consecutive months.

Ibn Qudaamah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: If a number of people took part in beating the woman and she miscarried the foetus, then the diyah or slave must be given by them all, each contributing a share, and each of them must offer expiation, the same as if a group of people participate in killing one man. If she miscarries several foetuses then they must all contribute to the diyah, and each one must offer expiation for each foetus. If three people strike the woman’s stomach, and she miscarries three foetuses, then they must offer nine expiations in all, each one offering three. [al-Mughni (8/326)]. And he said: The value of the slave is half of one-tenth of the diyah, which is five camels. That was narrated from ‘Umar and Zayd (may Allaah be pleased with them).

May Allah protect us from all evil and harm and keep us steadfast on His deen and make us among those that earn his pleasure and not of those who make Him angry, Ameen.

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