Saudi cleric: Driving harms women’s ovaries and pelvis

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Women in Saudi Arabia who want to drive, be warned: driving will have a detrimental effect on your ovaries… at least according to one Saudi Arabian cleric.

In Saudi Arabia, women are banned from driving and according, to news reports, thousands have signed a declaration urging women to drive in protect on October 26.

“Since there are no clear justifications for the state to ban adult, capable women from driving. We call for enabling women to have driving tests and for issuing licenses for those who pass,” the declaration says, according to NBC News.

According to Reuters the campaign declaration was blocked Sunday inside Saudi Arabia and Friday Sheikh Saleh bin Saad al-Lohaidan, a judicial advisor to an association of Gulf psychologists, told that women who drive are harming their bodies.

“If a woman drives a car, not out of pure necessity, that could have negative physiological impacts as functional and physiological medical studies show that it automatically affects the ovaries and pushes the pelvis upwards,” he told Sabq, according to Reuters.

“That is why we find those who regularly drive have children with clinical problems of varying degrees,” he said.

This is not the first protest women in Saudi Arabia have staged to drive, nor is it the first time a Saudi cleric has attempted to dissuade by using fertility are the primary reason to abstain from driving.

In May 2011, the arrest of women’s rights activist Manal al-Sharif for driving helped spark another drive in to protest the ban. According to CNN, Saudi women also staged a drive protest in 1991.

In December 2011, scholars at Saudi Arabia’s highest religious council, Majlis al-Ifta’ al-A’ala, concluded that allowing women to drive would mean there would be “no more virgins” in Saudi Arabia with in 10 years.

According to Sheikh Saleh bin Saad al-Lohaidan, who reportedly cited no scientific studies backing up his assertions, women looking to lift the ban on driving should put “reason ahead of their hearts, emotions and passions.”

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