May 23, 2013 Kurdistan, Iraq: Abortion is a woman’s right or not?

Thanks to WADI Organization for sharing and translating this article that was published in Awene /

Reportage published in Awene on 23 May in Kurdistan  :


“The day they told me I am pregnant for three and half months, I wanted to kill myself because it was my second time while I decided not to return to my husband. Yet none of women doctors tried to help me, therefore I brought a girl without a mother to this world.” This is Dlnya’s statement, who is 20 years old and stayed with her husband for only eleven months because of his bad treatment and torturing to her.

Sara Qader



She only saw her child when she had born, then they took her from the mother. Dlnia was from a poor family; her father was a worker. She has six sisters and one brother, when she became eleven she got married because of their economical problems at home and her father could not finance her. “However I listened to what my father told me and obeyed his decision, from the first week I had been tortured. Every week he was hitting me because he did not want me to finish my education. He forced me to wear Hijab and was hitting me every day for different reasons until I escaped.”


Dlnya while she was going back to her father’s house aiming to stay there, here last time was staying for two months. Her father became angry and did not want her to come back again to stay and be divorced. She felt her health was not good; therefore she went to a doctor and realized that she was pregnant. “Me and my mother begged the doctor to help us, but she said the laws are forbidding abortion.” She left her husband, but the day she gave born to her child, her husband’s family went to the hospital and took the girl from the mother.


Dlnya is criticizing the doctors that they could not help her. Furthermore, she is criticizing the non governmental organizations and women parliamentarian for not helping her. She wants them to propose a law for helping those kinds of problems. “Women in this country do not have their rights in everything. Meanwhile, women do not have a lot of information about their bodies and how children are being created. Sometimes during their periods they are pregnant.”


Doctor Nahida Karim, who has a bachelors at Baghdad’s university in 1965, stated “raising a child and educating him or her is a very pure job. Parents should decide when they want a child; therefore, there should be a committee at the hospital to legalize abortion”


“She mentioned that there is a pill that makes abortion very easy for the woman and she will not have any pain, but here it is not allowed. Here we cannot use is while it is a very good pill and without any pain. The only way we can use it is when the child is dead at his or her mother’s womb” meanwhile she continued saying, “in a society that claims to have women’s rights, it should be a very normal factor. In Sweden even women with sixth month pregnancy can abort their child even if their husband is not allow it”


However, doctor Shler Faiq, who is the manger of child born hospital, has different ideas about abortion, “if we consider a couple’s staying together in some conditions because of people’s talking and the shame after it in the society as being 70%, then why should we stop on a soul and want to kill it. we do not have laws for abortion because although we are not an Islamic country but our constitution is under an Islamic rules. On the other hand, doctor Nahida says “we should not consider religion as a problem because we are talking about science. Religion is only for respecting it”


Doctor Parwin Jasm, who is a ray doctor, said that abortion is better than unwelcoming a child to this world, “abortion is not an easy thing, and some people might use it for bad things. Sometimes for the mother’s health or the child is not good to have a baby; therefore we try to warn them. Yet the mother ignores us and goes to ask a religious person who says that is taboo.”




Without doubting religious people have different ideas about the problem. Ahmed Shafaay, who is a member in the high committee of fatwah in Kurdistan, says that some think that after 42 days soul will appear in the child and others think after 120 days. However the committee of fatwa believes that the child will have soul after 42 days. Abortion can be done when the doctors decide it, but it should not pass the exact timing. Meanwhile, for sure we should not relate everything to religion and ignore human’s rights.