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Top Saudi cleric says women drivers risk ovary problems

Sept. 30, 2013 at 5:59 PM

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Sept. 30 (UPI) -- A top Saudi cleric, trying to counter activists who want change in Saudi Arabia's ban on female drivers, said that driving may damage women's ovaries

"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," Sheikh Saleh al-Lohaidan said in an interview published Friday on Sabq.com.

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

Lohaidan is a member of the Senior Council of Scholars and has influence over policy in Saudi Arabia, NBC News reported.

Meanwhile, a campaign calling for women to drive on Oct. 26 as a protest against Saudi Arabia's male-only driving rules has rapidly gained traction over the past week. Several prominent women activists have shown support for the campaign.

A website for the campaign was blocked in Saudi Arabia on Sunday.

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