What is abortion? 
Abortion is intentionally ending a pregnancy.

Common Reasons Given for Abortion
Muslim women and girls often struggle to make a decision about having an abortion because of their faith or due to other external pressures.  Some common reasons for not wanting to keep the baby may include:
  • Worried about being disowned by family if it is due to pre-marital sex
  • Worried about honour based violence
  • Being pressurised by boyfriend or husband 
  • Made to feel guilty e.g. emotional blackmail using religion
  • Marriage breakdown and not being able to cope
  • Being pressurized to abort because the child is a girl
  • Rape / incest / child sexual abuse
  • Financial pressures
  • Health issues / deformities of baby
  • Mother's physical health
  • Mother's mental health
  • Unplanned pregnancy

Islamic Position on Abortion

The Quran is silent on the issue of abortion. However, most Muslim scholars conclude that abortion is unlawful except in some circumstances providing it is carried out within certain time limits.  There is difference of opinion amongst scholars regarding under which circumstances abortion is allowed.  There is also a difference of opinion about the time limits within which abortion is allowed. This varies from 40 days (about 6 weeks) to 120 days (about 4 months) from conception. This difference of opinion is based on when scholars think the soul enters the embryo.  Even within each school of Islamic thought there is disagreement on abortion and in which circumstances it is allowed. For example, many may only consider it being allowed if it poses danger to the mother's physical health.  However, some moderate scholars may also consider a mother's mental health.

Where to Get Help and Support on Abortion
Under The Abortion Act 1967, abortions can only be carried out in a hospital or a specialist licensed clinic.  You can search for organisations below that provide abortion services including counselling. However, if you want to have an abortion through the NHS, you'll usually need to be referred to a specialist service that deals with abortion.  You can ask your GP to refer you or you can go to your local family planning clinic or genito-urinary medicine (GUM) clinic.  You can search for the nearest sexual health clinic here.

Methods of Abortion
There are different methods of abortion depending on the stage of the pregnancy (how many weeks pregnant you are):
  • Early Medical Abortion (up to 9 weeks) -  involves taking two tablets 36-48  hours apart
  • Vacuum Aspiration Abortion (5-15 weeks) - involves placing tube into vagina and using suction to remove embryo
  • Dilation and Evacuation (15-19 weeks) - this procedure is carried out under general anaesthetic and involves stretching the cervix open with forceps and using suction to remove the embryo
  • Late Abortion (20-24 weeks) - there are two options which both require an overnight stay in a hospital.  The Surgical Two Stage abortion involve stopping the heart beat of the foetus on the first day and removing the foetus on the second day.  The Medically Induced Abortion involves giving medicine that starts contractions and labour

How MWN Helpline Can Support You

We do not impose our personal or religious views on abortion. We therefore do not encourage nor discourage an abortion because the reasons why women and girls may want to end a pregnancy can vary widely depending on their personal circumstances. It is important women and girls make this big decision without external pressure from us or anybody else.  However, we can help by listening to you while you talk through your feelings. We can provide relevant information that may help to inform your own decision and tell you about other organisations that can help you.

Contact an organisation about this issue
MWN Helpline is not responsible for the accuracy of the information provided and listing any organisation does not imply its endorsement.
  You can also Find help using our system below
Find national and local organisations
Birmingham & Solihull Women's Aid
Phone:0808 800 0028  Supporting women and children affected by domestic violence, rape and sexual assault. Also have an FGM project.
Address:Ryland House 44-48 - Bristol Street Birmingham B5 7AA  
Care Confidential
Phone:0300 4000 999   Helpline offering information advice and support for people facing unplanned pregnancy or post abortion concerns. Also offers miscarriage and other baby loss support.

Our Supporters