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Year: 2009 Type: Article Language: English

One in four world citizens across the globe identify themselves as Muslim, and they represent a striking diversity of values and interpretations of Islam’s tenets towards female sexual behaviour and abortion. This is characterized both in the social stigma associated with abortion, and the varying legal status abortion holds in Islamic countries, ranging from legalization to decriminalization in certain cases to full criminalization. In many places, the changing face of society and attitudes towards family size have not kept current with policies and access to contraception, resulting in an increase in the number of abortions and high levels of maternal mortality rates where abortion remains a criminal offense. This article illustrates how a range of strategies including documenting and sharing women’s experiences, advances in abortion techniques, and learning from model countries can be used by a variety of actors and organisations to advocate, on religious, human rights and political grounds, to gain greater access to safer abortion and sexual health services.

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