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Supreme Islamic Council Approves Artificial Insemination for Arab Prisoners

The council set more than a dozen conditions to make the process religiously acceptable.
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Photo Credit: Tsafrir Abayov/Flash90

The Palestinian Supreme Fatwa Council on Wednesday approved artificial insemination for the wives of Palestinians in Israeli jails, Maan reported.

The Razan Medical Center for Infertility, which has clinics in Ramallah and Schchem, has offered free insemination treatment to the wives of political prisoners who manage to smuggle sperm out of Israeli jails.

In February, the clinic announced that four prisoners’ wives were pregnant as a result of artificial insemination.

The clinic’s director-general, Salim Abu al-Khayzaran, explained the insemination process to the Fatwa council, which issued a decision approving the treatment on Wednesday.

The council set more than a dozen conditions to make the process religiously acceptable.

The couple must be married, and the pregnancy must be agreed to by both partners and preferably their families, the council ruled. Several of the couple’s next-of-kin relatives must witness the insemination, and the process must be made public.

The council also ruled that artificial insemination must be the only possible option for pregnancy. It said the couple must have consummated their marriage, ruling out marriages entered into in prison, as unconsummated marriages are considered engagements.

To qualify as an emergency case, it must be the prisoner’s first child, and the detainee must be serving a long sentence which would prohibit childbearing upon his release.

The council ruled that the treatment must be carried out at a licensed medical center and by female doctors if they are available. Any sperm left over after the insemination must be destroyed.

In February, the Razan center announced four successful pregnancies as a huge achievement that followed many unsuccessful attempts.

“We don’t intervene and ask how they smuggled sperm from prison and get it to Shchem. There are many failed attempts because the sperm die and so prisoners have to keep trying until it works,” Dr Salim Abu Khaizaran said.

“We believe that this is a human right especially as these prisoners are spending long sentences in prisons and a woman’s biological clock is short so maybe when her husband comes out she won’t be able to have a child.”

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


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2 Responses to “Supreme Islamic Council Approves Artificial Insemination for Arab Prisoners”

  1. The problem with religious Fatwas is that unnatural circumstances are accommodated in order to appease sinful conduct. One of the practical questions that remain is if the religious council ignores the method of smuggling out the sperm, then how is the identity of the donor validated? Obviously if the donated sperm were to be mistakenly or on purpose switched, then the Council would be consenting to adultery through negligence. I would be interested in a comment by the Council concerning this issue.

  2. Arie's Pragmatic Politics says:

    Already everyone. Gather up the pigs and milk m. The sperm banks are now accepting donations.

Comments are closed.

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