Getting an abortion was the most rational thing to do for Eman Abdelhadi. She was six weeks pregnant and a graduate student who couldn’t afford to have a child due to financial constraints. She had no remorse or regret for doing it.
“I had no reservations about it.” Abdelhadi, a professor at the University of Chicago who was up in a Muslim household, said, “I grew up in an environment and a religious tradition that sees my life as the most essential thing.” “It was crystal plain to me.” ‘You did something unethical,’ there was never anything like that.”
Abdelhadi grew up believing that abortion was a “sensible thing to legislate” and that legalising it was vital to prevent individuals from exploring other, potentially harmful methods of terminating pregnancies. His mother was a gynaecologist in Egypt.
According to Abdelhadi, Islamic law is flexible, and when it comes to abortion, “they will confer with their families, their religious leaders, and then they’ll make a decision for themselves.”
She said, “You’ll do what feels right.”
As the Supreme Court of the United States appears to be on the verge of overturning Roe v. Wade, Muslim Americans are preparing for the ramifications of the historic decision.
A fund has been established by HEART Women and Girls, a nationwide reproductive justice group that serves Muslims, to provide financial aid for pregnancy, abortion, and miscarriage care. Queer Crescent is gathering abortion experiences to learn how Muslims are getting abortions, the costs and travel involved, and the cultural challenges they face. And, at a time when discourses about reproductive justice have often ignored or misrepresented Muslim perspectives, advocates and intellectuals are fighting to reclaim their Islamic legacy.
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“There’s been a kind of befuddled hush as (Muslim) people try to figure out what they believe about it, or what Islam says them about it,” said Abdelhadi, who is now a sociologist who studies Muslims in America. “I think what happens in a Christian-dominated space is that we don’t always know what we believe, even among Muslims.”
Many have drawn parallels between the Taliban’s iron-fisted control of women in Muslim-majority Afghanistan and the recent adoption of anti-abortion legislation in Texas and other red states. Experts argue such parallels are false and propagate Islamophobia, and that this logic downplays the importance of Christianity and other American systems in Texas‘ six-week abortion restriction.
In April, the American Muslim Bar Association and HEART Women and Girls released an 11-page statement titled “The Islamic Principle of Rahma: A Call for Reproductive Justice,” declaring that Muslim Americans are “uniquely positioned to condemn abortion bans and their attack on every person’s constitutional right to religious liberty” as a religious minority.
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“Muslims are not a monolith, and we lack a systemized and worldwide authority comparable to Catholicism’s papal system.” “We also don’t all agree on when life begins,” according to the statement.