Saudi Cleric: Driving Hurts Women's Ovaries
And their children will have problems, he claims
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Sep 30, 2013 4:43 AM CDT
Updated Sep 30, 2013 5:44 AM CDT
A Saudi Arabian woman, apparently unconcerned about her ovaries, drives a car as part of a campaign to defy the kingdom's ban on women driving    (AP Photo/, File)

(Newser) – There are some solid medical reasons behind Saudi Arabia's ban on women drivers, according to a conservative Saudi cleric who has become an international laughingstock. "If a woman drives a car, it could have a negative physiological impact," Sheikh Saleh al-Loheidan told an interviewer. "Medical studies show that it would automatically affect a woman's ovaries and that it pushes the pelvis upward." What's more, he claimed, "for women who continuously drive cars, their children are born with varying degrees of clinical problems."

Al-Loheidan, who mysteriously failed to produce any medical studies to back up his claim, was speaking about the ban ahead of a planned protest drive on October 26, Reuters reports. Women who want to overturn the ban should put "reason ahead of their hearts, emotions, and passions," the cleric urged. His remarks attracted widespread ridicule in the kingdom and beyond. "He's making a fool of himself," a Saudi women's rights activist tells CNN. "He shouldn't touch this field at all—the medical field is not his field at all."

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Showing 3 of 62 comments
Oct 5, 2013 10:02 AM CDT
Take Saudi Arabia, remove its oil, and what do you have? Less than nothing.
Oct 1, 2013 2:19 PM CDT
I guess a women's heels can't be put by their ears during a good pounding. Middle East, one of the first on the planet and yet to evolve.
Oct 1, 2013 1:39 AM CDT
So this activist goes to Arab country and sees women walking 10 feet behind men. Activist is furious and rallies for change. She gets little accomplished and leaves. By stroke of fate she comes back to the same country 5 months later and sees remarkable change. Men are walking 20 feet behind women! Our activist is overjoyed and promptly asks leading woman what has sparked such a radical development. Woman looks at her with sad eyes and says: Landmines. They gonna make women drive them and cook dinner at the same time while sitting in the back seat.