Q: I am a married lady. I have 3 children, two of whom were born very close to each other. Their age gap is 14 months. The baby is now 18 months old and I fear that I may be pregnant again. My problem is that my second baby was born prematurely by c-section because of a very long, unprogressive labour. She had to be in ICU for a week thereafter. I however, suffered greatly after the operation because my body takes a long time to heal. The doctor warned that I would probably have a pre-mature baby again. At 30-weeks, I went into premature labour. I was hospitalised for a few days, and they managed to stop the labour. I was in extreme pain from then on, where I was unable to walk, sit, stand, drive, even turning in my sleep caused immense pain. There was too much pressure from the baby. As a result, I could not go to work, even though baby was only due in 10 weeks. At 33 weeks, I was back in hospital, again in labour. They again stopped it, and this time, said I needed complete bed rest. I eventually delivered a healthy baby boy at 40 weeks, but I continued to suffer immense pain for months after, because my body had been through so much. 7 months later, I was diagnosed with a prolapsed uterus and had to undergo surgery. They cut out a part of my cervix, and lifted the womb back in place. There too, my recovery was long and painful.
Now we fear that my body will not be able to handle another pregnancy. I have suffered much in the past two years. Added to all of this, I am the sole breadwinner as my husband is unemployed. I cannot be without work and as my health will probably suffer once again, this time more so because my doctor has mentioned that I would need a stitch to keep baby in place and I would also need to limit my daily activity. I fear that i will be cursed if I have an abortion, but I feel that this is my only solution. Would this be allowed? If I calculate correctly, I can't be more than 4 weeks pregnant.
A: We have read the details of your case. Alhamdu-lillah, all these details, which we accept in good faith as true and accurate, have placed us in a position to rule on your case. The main points in favour of an abortion are the health complications that you have suffered and still suffer. We summarize these:
The danger of premature labour;
Hospitalization for labour on more than one occasion during which labour had to be stopped;
Extreme body pain during this time and for a long time theraafter, as well as weakness
Your healing period being prolonged;
The operation on the womb wherein part of the cervix was cut out, as a result of which you shall need a stitch to keep the current pregnancy intact;
On the basis of the above factors, it will be permissible to abort the fetus within the first four months (120 days) of pregnancy. The permissibility of abortion within the above time-frame is mentioned in all the books of Fiqah.
And Allah Ta’ala knows best
Mufti Siraj Desai