A new survey by The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), has revealed that American Muslims are completely divided on the question of abortion.
The results of the poll of 525 American Muslims from across the country between May 25 and June 23 came after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Roe v Wade decision that previously legalised abortion across the United States in 1973.
The decision does not ban abortion in America but hands the matter back to individual states, many of which will opt to ban abortion.
CAIR’s survey asked: “If the Supreme Court allows state governments to make new laws regulating abortion, which of the following statements best represents your views on what the law should be in your state?”
- 14.9% said they would support laws allowing abortion up until 20 weeks of pregnancy so long as there is an exception for medical emergencies.
- 13.7% of respondents said they would support laws allowing abortion at any stage of pregnancy up until birth without any restrictions.
- 13.1% said they would support laws allowing abortion up until 6 weeks of pregnancy with exceptions for medical emergencies.
- 12.8% said they would support laws allowing abortion up until 15 weeks of pregnancy with exceptions for medical emergencies.
- 7.2% of respondents said they would support laws that prohibit abortion at any state of pregnancy without any exceptions.
- 19.8% of respondents, the largest group, said they would support a legal framework not listed in the question.
By gender, Muslim women were more likely to support permissive state laws on abortion than Muslim men.
By race or ethnicity, Black American Muslim respondents were likelier to support stricter regulations on abortion than members of other racial and ethnic groups in the Muslim community.
“As a result of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, Congress and state governments are now deciding what, if any, additional regulations to impose on abortion. This survey shows that American Muslims have unique, diverse perspectives on this policy issue and an important role to play in discussions at the state and federal level,” said CAIR Director of Government Affairs Department Robert S. McCaw.
Islam decrees that life is sacred and must be honoured and promoted.
Once the woman’s egg is fertilised, it is impermissible to terminate the pregnancy without the mutual agreement of both parents.
Once the foetus reaches 40 days from conception, abortion becomes impermissible according to most scholars, unless a pressing need exists which justifies it in the eyes of Islamic law.
Once the foetus reaches 120 days, all scholars agree that terminating the gestation of a living foetus would only be allowed to save the mother’s life.
The scholars also deem abortion in the case of fetal demise permissible at any point, as the soul is no longer believed to be present.