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Dar el Iftaa Allows Abortion Within 120 Days for Zika-Infected Women

Egypt’s Dar el Iftaa permits abortion of fetuses carried by mothers who test positive for mosquito-borne Zika virus only until the 120th day of pregnancy

Staff Writer

In the wake of global concern regarding mosquito-borne Zika virus, Egypt’s Dar al-Ifta, affiliated with the Justice Ministry, stated on Monday that it is permissible for a Zika-infected woman to abort the fetus within 120 days of pregnancy, according to the al-Bawaba.

Dar el Iftaa also added that according to Islamic Law, abortion is forbidden unless the pregnancy risks the life of the carrying mother. The statement comes in response to the United Nation’s call to allow Zika-positive mothers to go through abortion regarding the fetal deformation the virus is deemed to cause the fetus.

Dar el Iftaa’s statement is based on the religious belief that on the 120th day of pregnancy, the soul entered the fetus, after which abortion is prohibited since it will mean killing a soul, according to Cairo Post.

It is worth adding that in February, Jordanian Zeid al Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, voiced his support for "women’s human rights" and that it was essential to make ‘effective’ the response to the virus.

Hussein added that women should have access to "comprehensive and affordable quality sexual and reproductive health services and information," according to Aswat Masriya. This includes contraception, mental healthcare and safe abortion.

According to the World Health Organization, the virus is present in Africa, Americas, Asia as well as the Pacific.