Rights and Liabilities under the Law of Abortion: A Comparative Study
Abortion involves the death and removal of a foetus or unborn child from the womb of its mother that causes the pregnancy ends. Abortion is always seen as an unethical method of terminating the pregnancy. There are certain reasons that a woman seeks to terminate her pregnancy. Most religions in this world condemn the practice of abortion particularly if it is procured without any valid excuse. In some countries abortion is legally permitted while in some others it is prohibited which renders the infliction of punishment. The question arises as to whether it is the right of the woman to abort her unwanted pregnancy in any of its stages. Another related question is whether the foetus itself has the right to life once it is conceived and thus any deliberation to terminate its life can be considered murder. This paper examines this issue from ethical and legal aspects. The discussion will also be made on the liability if abortion or miscarriage results from a criminal act of another person. The legal provisions pertaining to abortion in some selected countries will also be studied.
Keywords: Abortion, Human Rights, Criminal Law
Dr. Nasimah Hussin
Lecturer, Faculty of Law, International Islamic University Malaysia