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Birth Control and Abortion

Methods of birth control have never been so safe, accessible and effective as in our modern age. Their use and misuse is a subject of great controversy, especially around the issue of termination of pregnancy and abortion. It involves the whole spectrum of healthcare professionals, from the hospital specialist, to the referring GP, to the dispensing pharmacist. Muslims bring to this debate a strong belief in the sanctity of human life, as well as a pragmatic approach to the avoidance of harm to mother and baby. This article will review the following questions:

  • What is the legal status of the unborn foetus?
  • Is an abortion permissible? Under what circumstances?
  • Can the oral contraceptive pill be used to prevent a pregnancy? What about other methods of birth control, such as coils and implants?
  • Is it sinful to prescribe contraceptives to patients? Can I refer someone for a medical abortion?

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