Terengganu just made unmarried pregnancies illegal. Here’s why some doctors agree

Terengganu, Kelantan, arguably one of Malaysia’s most religiously conservative states, has sparked controversy with the state’s new amendments. enactment of sharia criminal law, Most notably, increased criminalization or penalties for: unmarried pregnancies, witchcraft, women disguised as men, Above all.

Opinions vary, but there was an unlikely group of people who expressed particular support for the amendment criminalizing illegitimate pregnancy. And the simple reason for their support? increase…

“Libido must be ‘totally managed'”

One of the most controversial amendments was Section 29A On Terengganu’s sharia criminal offense (Takzir), which criminalizes out-of-wedlock pregnancy. Exactly what the punishment for it will be is still unclear, but the main section (Section 29) makes it a crime. “Preparatory acts for extramarital intercourse”, This carries a fine not exceeding RM3,000, imprisonment of up to two years, or both.

And interestingly, group of doctors came out in favor of these amendments. A joint statement by gynecologists and I-Medik vice presidents Datuk Dr Mohamed Hatta Mohamed Tarmizi and Dr Murizah Mohd Zain expressed support for the amendment, claiming that we are now alive. “Toxic Hypersexual Culture Influenced by the West” That:

“…not just fix, but undo.” – joint statement by Datuk Dr Mohamed Hatta Mohamed Tarmizi and Dr Murizah Mohd Zain

Dr. Datuk. Hj. Mohammed Hatta Bin Mohammed Talmij.Image credit: Gleneagles Hospital

And they’re not the only members of the medical community who share this concern.In fact, total 53 Muslim Obstetricians from Malaysian Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology (OGSM) When OGSM issued a statement expressing concern about the amendments, it issued a “dissenting opinion.”These ‘withdrawal’ doctors claimed statements were made without consulting any Muslim member of OGSM, And he argued that the amendment would discourage unwanted pregnancies, prevent shame, and punish men guilty of causing unwanted pregnancies:

“Education and community vigilance, in conjunction with state-led holistic measures, including punitive measures under Shari’a law, are needed to reduce alarming statistics of out-of-wedlock pregnancies and contribute to better maternal and child health. We continue to confirm that it is essential and well-being.” – Joint statement from the “other side” of OGSM

However, there are some critics of the proposed amendments, arguing that…

These fixes may do more harm than good

Image credit: Wong Ka Hui/Malaysiakini

Not everyone was on board with the idea of ​​punishing unmarried mothers, and there were arguments that it would do more harm than good. Malaysian Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology (OGSM) He argued that the criminalization of illegitimate pregnancies would only increase proportionately:

“…unintended negative consequences such as unsafe abortion, baby abandonment, severe maternal health complications and even death…” – Malaysian Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology (OGSM)

The NGOs Sisters in Islamic (SIS) and Justice for Sisters also issued a joint statement, citing findings that the amendments would lead to an increase in child marriages for fear of prosecution.

Constitutionally, these laws apply only to Terengganu Muslims

Whatever the controversy over the statutes in question, it must be said that Islamic law and Islamic affairs are subject to state jurisdiction (unless granted by federal law), so they apply only to Muslims within Terengganu. No. However, it has been argued that these amendments are unconstitutional because they allegedly violate multiple constitutional rights, including the right to equality and the prohibition of discrimination.

Flogging remains a punishment for certain crimes, such as same-sex relations.Image source: Bernama

Groups such as SIS have called on the Malaysian Human Rights Commission (SUHAKAM) to begin a human rights impact assessment of these amendments, but it seems unlikely that Terengganu will reverse enactment of these new laws. . Only time will tell what impact they will have on Terengganu society.

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