The Fiqh Academy of Maldives has today issued its opinion on abortion, stating that the situations in which they believe abortion is allowed under Islam.
According to the academy, if a woman gets raped – regardless of whether marriage to the man is allowed under Islam – abortion is allowed if it is carried out within the first 120 days.
The academy further stated that if a woman whose medical conditions is not good enough to hold a baby in her womb gets raped by a man then abortion is allowed if it is carried out in the first 120 days.
The academy was first established in 2009 under President Mohamed Nasheed’s administration, and was dissolved and then re-established by President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan.
The current nine-member academy is composed of two councils – the Shariah Council and an Advisory Council. Members are appointed by the president and the academy’s main function is to act as an advisory body on issues of Islamic jurisprudence and Shariah law.
The fourth situation stated in which they viewed abortion as being allowed was if the doctors are sure that the baby might have serious health conditions such as thalassemia, sickle cell, or any other serious medical condition that cannot be cured by medicine.
The only situation where abortion is allowed after the first 120 days was if the mother’s health condition was critical and doctors were forced to save either the baby or the mother.
The Fiqh Academy also said that abortion is allowed in the first four situations, if carried out within 120 days of pregnancy because the fetus would not have soul inside but after 120 days the soul will enter the fetus and thereafter it should be considered as living.
The Academy has issued eight rulings since it’s establishment and also suggested amendments to the draft Penal Code while it was open for public comments. People’s Majlis’ Penal Code drafting committee rejected all but one of the proposed amendments.
Since 2011 there have been an increase in the amount of abandoned babies reported by the media.
On May 5, 2011, a dead infant was found in a plastic bag in the swimming track area of Male’. A medical examination later concluded that the baby had sustained cuts, bruises and other wounds.
On May 21, 2011, the corpse of a premature baby boy was discovered inside a Coast Milk tin on the island of Villingli.
Police Sub-Inspector Shiyam at the time told told Minivan News that the dead child, believed by forensic examiners to have been born three months premature, was discovered in a discarded container near the power house area of the island.
On May 22, 2011, the body of a newborn baby boy discovered in a park in Hulhumale’ was found with underwear tied tightly around his neck.