Please note: The answers on constitute friendly advice rather than fatwas. Where relevant, we translate the opinions and fatwas of respected scholars and present them in our answers.

The Islamic ruling on aborting a fetus after four months to save the mother’s life

Salam, I know that abortion is allowed in Islam before 4 months of pregnancy. But after 4 months, it is not permitted even if there is absolute certainty that the mother will die if she continues with the pregnancy. How can this be? What about the mother's other children? Why must the mother face certain death for an unborn child which may or may not even be healthy at birth?

Abortion before 4 months is somewhere between strong disliked and prohibited (rather than allowed), unless there is a strong justification for it (please see this previous answer for details).

As for aborting a fetus after four months, this is permitted if it is medically shown to be necessary to save the mother’s life. This is according to a fatwa on IslamOnline, a website that is overseen by the respected Egyptian scholar Yusuf al-Qaradawi.


And God knows best.

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