The fact is such that the only perfect contraception is saying no!
Oral Contraceptive Pills are not 100% effective!
IUD are not 100% effective!
Implanon are not 100% effective!
Abstinence is the only way to give you the certainty you covet when it comes to preventing pregnancy.
I am almost ashamed to admit that in Malaysia, there are currently many cases of abandoned newborns discovered by the authorities almost every week. These babies were, presumably, babies who were born out of wedlock, being brought into this cruel, evil world with secrecy by a husband-less teenage mother who then decided to throw the baby into some secluded areas (some of them thrown into the pit, into the nearby bushes, into the garbage bin, or left at the door of some establishments where by the time the babies were discovered they were effectively bruised, blue and dead!).
Look at the pictures below!
How dare they!
WHY did you carry the baby into full-term if only to discard them like some rubbish? Did you suppose your not aborting the baby earlier, made killing them at the end better?
But I guess, the answer to those questions above are perfectly clear…
In Malaysia abortion is not legal, therefore they were not given the CHOICE or the FREEDOM to abort the baby earlier…and thus they were forced to carry the baby into full term before killing it!
What a dilemma this is turning out to be! Should we make abortion legal??
As a Muslim, we will NEVER say yes to abortion, unless it poses serious medical hazard for the mother. But at the same time, there are so many cases of full term babies being thrown away by these teenagers who thought they were old enough to have sex but not old enough to carry the responsibility that comes with it!
To my non-Muslim readers…
In Islam, we are allowed to use any contraception to prevent pregnancy, but Islam also recognizes that this contraception is not totally perfect. So the guideline is, if you fall pregnant regardless of the use of contraception, you should not abort the baby; unless there’s a specific harm to the mother medically or the baby is a result of incest. In the case of rape, again that is sometimes optional, depending on what the mother wants and depending on how the mother’s mental health would be affected by bearing the baby of her rapist. But all rape victims should take all the necessary precautions, for example, taking the morning-after pill.
According to European Council for Fatwa and Research:
Indeed, abortion is forbidden in Islam whether it be in the earlier stages of pregnancy or otherwise. The extent of sin incurred varies according to the stage of pregnancy, so that less sin would be incurred if the abortion took place during the early stages, while it becomes increasingly haram (unlawful) as the pregnancy advances. When the pregnancy reaches 120 days old, abortion becomes totally forbidden and is deemed a form of murder that results in compensation becoming liable. This compensation is equal in value to 213 grams of gold, and it is given to the heir who did not participate in the abortion (i.e., brother/sister or grandparent(s), etc., according to the laws of inheritance).
However, the only condition under which abortion is allowed is when there is an actual threat to the life of the mother confirmed by an official medical report that if the pregnancy advances any further, the mother may die.
If I ever become an O&G specialist, I shall never ever perform an abortion unless it specifically poses a medical problem to the mother.
If you got pregnant because you have been careless and foolish enough to not use contraception, then why are you crying now? You know that every action has its own consequences and part of being a good responsible adult is to bear them with dignity.
I believe that there are consequences that you have to bear out of your freedom of choice. I find it amusing that a lot of people talk to me about how Muslims women are oppressed, they couldn’t choose their own course of action yadda yadda yadda…
What they don’t know is that the reasons we don’t choose a particular action are
1)because it is against our belief. So, in the first place, we choose to believe!
2) Because we know there are great consequences that you need to bear out of your action. And if you think you can’t carry the responsibility of being a mother just yet or that the father was not the ‘right man’ (whatever that means) or that this is not the ‘right time’, then why didn’t you take steps to prevent the pregnancy from happening in the first place?
Granted that sometimes despite of everything that you do, despite of all the contraception that you use, accidents happen.
But you knew that there’s a chance of that happening! Your doctor would have told you all the estimate percentage of failure of contraception. But still, you use your freedom of choice to choose to take that risk.
And now that you have to bear the consequence, again you choose to exercise the same exact ‘freedom of choice’ to abort. When does this freedom of choice end? People use that same expression ad nauseam to justify every action you do (bad or otherwise).
Our freedom is limited by other people’s freedom and our rights are limited by other people’s rights.
This is exactly when our freedom of choice ends. Now that you have borne a child, your rights are limited by the rights of the unborn child.
Now, they get into the debate of whether or not an unborn child has any rights. And if an unborn child has any rights, at what gestational stage?
Really, who is the best person to determine all that? To those who are religious, they would say God is the best person to determine that since He created us all. To those who are atheist, they would use another justification and their reasoning varies and their answers would range from the very beginning of conception to implantation to 20 gestational weeks.
You are getting into a gray area, a muddy water! In these circumstances, people then choose whatever they want to believe base on their own private justification. There’s no uniformity and no consistencies.
So, people should think twice before they think that all the religious restriction on a woman’s sexual expression is limiting their freedom of choice. In Islam, we prefer to prevent than cure. You don’t have to deal with all these mind-boggling issues if you choose to follow the guidelines (though some might prefer to call it restrictions. Again, we can label these things whatever we want) in the first place, i.e, to be married before you have sex and to make sure that you are ready to bear children before having sex.
But problems arise when people don’t want to follow what they call as ‘restriction’ and when bad consequence happens as a result of them not following the initial restriction, they start thinking that the bad consequence is another restriction that they need to escape from. This cycle would go on and on until we stop and realize that we should take responsibility from our choice.
For all these reasons, I choose to never perform an abortion without any valid reasons other than the pill doesn’t work and this is not the right time or I was not with the right man. You knew coming in that no contraception is 100 percent effective, yet you chose to take the risk anyway, so bear the consequence in a mature adult manner. (of course my whole manner and intonation would be adjusted accordingly as a health professional who has to counsel these cases in a sensitive, empathetic style.)
To my Muslim readers…
A sense of responsibility is the first sign of adulthood.
As a Muslim student studying in a non-Muslim country, I am filled with deep shame and embarrassment.
Sometimes, a non-Muslim teenager knows better. No matter how much people frown on teenage pregnancy in Australia, I applauded their decision to carry the pregnancy through, regardless. At least, THEY know the concept of taking responsibility for their choice. (Instead sometimes we could see the Australian independent adults who were the ones wanting to abort).
But our MUSLIM Malaysian teenagers are a bunch of coward, spineless species.
Or is it because we, as a culture, tend to punish rather than lovingly educate? That when these things happen, we tend to judge the woman all her life. Rather than offering them help, we offer them stigma. Rather than empowering them to repent from the past sin and avoid committing another sin of killing an innocent baby, we make them PAY for their past sin with words of shame and chastisement. We forgot that ultimately, it is never our place to judge another person’s worth. We forgot that no matter how big other people’s sin is, it would be nothing if Allah has forgiven it; and no matter how small our sin is, it would be everything if Allah has chose to punish.
How dare we! How dare we have allowed our society to become this rigid, this judgmental, this loveless…until our fellow Muslim brothers and sisters are scared to shoulder their responsibility after having sinned and repented.
How dare we have forgotten this perfect story of mercy according to this hadeeth:
There came to him (the Holy Prophet) a woman from Ghamid and said: Allah’s Messenger, I have committed adultery, so purify me. He (the Holy Prophet) turned her away. On the following day she said: Allah’s Messenger, Why do you turn me away? Perhaps, you turn me away as you turned away Ma’iz. By Allah, I have become pregnant. He said: Well, if you insist upon it, then go away until you give birth to (the child). When she was delivered she came with the child (wrapped) in a rag and said: Here is the child whom I have given birth to. He said: Go away and suckle him until you wean him. When she had weaned him, she came to him (the Holy Prophet) with the child who was holding a piece of bread in his hand. She said: Allah’s Apostle, here is he as I have weaned him and he eats food. He (the Holy Prophet) entrusted the child to one of the Muslims and then pronounced punishment. And she was put in a ditch up to her chest and he commanded people and they stoned her. Khalid b Walid came forward with a stone which he flung at her head and there spurted blood on the face of Khalid and so he abused her. Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) heard his (Khalid’s) curse that he had hurled upon her. Thereupon he (the Holy Prophet) said: Khalid, be gentle. By Him in Whose Hand is my life, she has made such a repentance that even if a wrongful tax-collector were to repent, he would have been forgiven. Then giving command regarding her, he prayed over her and she was buried. [vii]
Note that the prophet Muhammad S.A.W had refused to punish this woman multiple times. The first time the woman came to the prophet, he turned her away. The punishment was carried out at the insistence of the woman, herself. And she has asked for that punishment in order to purify herself. Not because anyone was forcing the punishment upon her. And when Khalid had cursed the woman, the prophet with his gentle words had uplifted her status even though she was an adulterer. The prophet had basically given his assurance that the woman’s repentance had been accepted and her sin forgiven.
Maybe, just maybe….if we are more understanding, less judgmental; more educating, less punishing…maybe we would see our Muslim teenagers take the responsibility just as well as the non-Muslim teenagers here.