- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 29, 2013

One of Saudi Arabia’s top Muslim clerics said Friday that women who drive risk damaging their ovaries and bearing children.

A protest calling for women to defy the kingdom’s ban on female drivers is scheduled for Oct. 26, but the campaign’s website was blocked in the country on Sunday, Reuters reported.

Sheikh Saleh al-Lohaidan sits on the Senior Council of Scholars and has the ability to write fatwas and advise the government. Speaking of the protest, he said women should put “reason ahead of their hearts, emotions and passions.”

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

A biography on Sheikh Lohaidan’s website does not list any background in medicine, nor did he cite any studies to back up his claims, Reuters reported.

The country’s ban on women driving is not backed by a specific law, but only men are granted a driver’s license, the report said.

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