KUALA LUMPUR: The current law does not provide for abortion for pregnant mothers infected with Zika and if it is allowed, it must be accepted by all state muftis, said Health Minister Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam (pic).
He said he welcomed Federal Territories Mufti Datuk Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri’s approval for abortion in such cases but said that the law only allows abortion if the mother’s life is at risk and not the child’s.
“That is what is allowed in our system which had taken into consideration the religious stand.
“If the Federal Territories Mufti had said this (abortion allowed), this must be accepted by other Muftis.
He said that this was important so that the Ministry could be guided by professional as well as religious stand.
“If they come out with a statement, then it is easier for us to advise the patient,” he said at the 11th Allied Health Scientific Conference 2016 on Tuesday.
Dr Subramaniam said if the National Fatwa Council could debate the matter and come up with a stand, this would help the Ministry come up with guidelines for all.
On whether babies should be aborted if the mothers carrying them were infected with Zika, Dr Subramaniam reminded all that not all pregnant mothers infected with Zika would end up delivering babies with disabilities.
“Only 1% to 5% may. That means more than 90% will be all right. That is why it is important to follow the doctor’s advice,” he said.
He said that if a pregnant mother tests positive for Zika, they have to go through various tests including ultrasound to monitor the development of the foetus.
“Then they will be able to tell at which stage, if anything had gone wrong. That is the best,” he said.
On Monday, an online portal had reported that the Federal Territories Mufti has approved of abortions for cases where the mother is infected with the Zika virus that is linked to microcephaly, a birth defect.