A conservative Saudi Arabian cleric has said women who drive risk damaging their ovaries and bearing children with clinical problems.
A campaign calling for women to defy the ban in a protest drive on 26 October has spread rapidly online over the past week. On Sunday, the campaign's website was blocked inside the kingdom.
In an interview published on Friday on the sabq.org website, Sheikh Saleh bin Saad al-Lohaidan said women aiming to overturn the ban on driving should put "reason ahead of their hearts, emotions and passions".
Sheikh Saleh is a judicial adviser to an association of Gulf psychologists. His comments reflect the extent of opposition to women driving among some in Saudi Arabia.
"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.
"That is why we find those who regularly drive have children with clinical problems of varying degrees," he said.
No specific medical studies were cited to support his arguments.
The ban on women driving is not backed by a specific law, but only men are granted driving licences. Women can be fined for driving without a licence.