Salaam. Should a pregnant woman due to a case of rape abort her fetus whether before 120 or after? Please clarify for us this ruling and is it true?
Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
Abortion is absolutely rejected unless there is a necessity; irrespective of how old the fetus is, because if anyone causes damage to the pregnancy in causing miscarriage or abortion, then there will be a penalty called 'ghurrah', which is 1/10 of the full diyah (compensation) for accidental killing. (This amount used to be equivalent to 100 camels).
For killing the fetus, the compensation would be 10 camels. (Refer to the Prophet's (peace be upon him) saying that the penalty for killing a fetus is compensation should be paid to the mother by the family of the perpetrator. (Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim)
This is why we decide that abortion is impossible unless absolutely necessary.
Certainly, if the fetus is more than 119 days old, it is haram to abort it because the soul joins the body and becomes a human being. Al-Ruh means life and its departure causes death. When the fetus is 120 days, there should be a study to determine whether abortion is required on the basis of Shari`ah and medical consideration.
For rape cases, I have counted an exceptional need if the fetus is in the early stages of development. Some schools of thought would allow it only if less than 6 weeks old. However the hadith of Ibn Mas`ud saying the soul is implanted at 120 days gives the stronger evidence that it is allowed up until 119 days.
Allah Almighty knows best.