Abortion of Fetus with Down Syndrome
Fatwa No: 391018

  • Fatwa Date:31-1-2019 - Jumaadaa Al-Oula 25, 1440
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Question

Can you abort a baby that has down syndrome, since it's a genetic chromosome disorder that can't be cured? usually you can know if a baby have down syndrome between 9 to 12 weeks during pregnancy.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

If the fetus has completed 120 days and the soul is breathed into it, it is not permissible to abort it as long as it is alive, even if both parents agree to it, and even if it is distorted, unless keeping it would risk the life of the mother.

As for before the soul is breathed: many contemporary scholars consider severe distortion which cannot be treated as a justification for abortion.

The Fiqh Assembly at the Muslim World League (MWL) came a resolution on this issue in its 12th conference in Makkah, February 10 – 17 1990 (Rajab 15 – 22, 1410 AH):

- If the pregnancy is 120 days long, then it is not permissible to abort the child, even if the medical diagnosis proves that the child might be deformed. However, if a medical report by trustworthy and professional doctors shows that keeping the child constitutes a high risk on the mother`s life; in this case, it is permissible to abort it, whether or not it is distorted, to avoid the gravest of the two risks.

- Before 120 days of pregnancy, if it is proven and confirmed by a medical committee that has trustworthy and professional doctors, and based upon technical and laboratory examinations, that the child is seriously distorted and could not be cured, and if it survived and was born on its due date, his life will be bad, and it will be painful for it and for his family, then it is permissible to abort it, upon the request of both parents.” [End of quote]

For more benefit, please refer to Fataawa 291898, 221683, and 359581.

Allah knows best.

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