What is the perspective of the bible, Halacha and torah on abortion?Unlike some other religions that completely ban abortion under any circumstances, Bible Halacha and Torah has always allowed abortions — in fact even required abortions — to preserve a life.
Bible position towards abortion is a very sensitive issue incorporates some ideas that will probably please just about everyone, and other ideas that will likely displease each one of them.
You already know that Judaism holds each and every life to be sacred. When the life of a woman is in jeopardy, it is clear that the pregnancy must be terminated.
However, when it comes to this controversial topic, there is no unanimity among the respective movements of Judaism beyond this clear maxim. The traditional point of view is that abortion is not permitted other than when the woman’s life is in danger.
But what about the woman’s health? And what about when the risk to health becomes so serious that it could become life-threatening?
More liberal branches of Judaism will take the emotional health and well-being of the woman into account as well. However, as far as a woman’s having the absolute right to abortion for any reason or no reason at all, it is not likely you will find an organized branch of Judaism to support this position.
The issue of abortion terminating a pregnancy, is one of the political items especially in the United States lately that brings out tremendous feelings. I think the country is divided, many that are against it and many they are for it.
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How can you be for abortion? Well, the basic argument is the following a woman should be able to decide with her body whatever she wants to do, and as long as she’s pregnant the pregnancy is taking place within her body, so she should be able to do whatever she wants to do. It’s her decision, if she decides to terminate the pregnancy, it should be her decision because it’s her body, she should be able to do with her body whatever she wants.
And then again, there are reasons for it. Here you have a young girl 12, or 13 years old she suddenly became pregnant for whatever reason it was, but she’s pregnant, what shall we do? is she ready to be a mother? Can she raise a child? She herself as a child.
Or, through medical exams that were done to the fetus, that it’s going to be born deformed, why should you bring into the world a human being that will suffer the rest of his life? and maybe it’ll be a very short life maybe best thing would be to terminate it and that’s it.
The basic argument is really, I am the owner of my body I can do whatever I want with my body, don’t you tell me what to do.
Judaism Abortion Beliefs
Well, in Jewish law it isn’t exactly the same. We consider, that there are three partners in the creation of a human being: it’s the father, the mother, and God. In other words, my body doesn’t really belong exclusively to me, I am placed in this world to keep this body alive, I have to watch over it if, I get sick I am obligated religiously to seek cure for it. I can’t take a knife and just cut myself, that’s prohibited. I’m supposed to take care of it, look for the well-being of this body that is mine, is mine relatively speaking ,not to do whatever I want to, in to the contrary I have to keep it.
I see all over today how many people have tattoos, I really don’t understand why people do it, but there must be some reason, they must think it is artistically, very interesting.
In the Bible you find to the contrary, we think that many pagan rituals included tattooing in the Bible prohibits it specifically, not allowed to tattoo yourself. But maybe the answer is again, I am the owner of my body I can do whatever I want to.
What about suicide, can I commit suicide? I think it’s a crime. In Jewish law it is definitely a crime. I am NOT allowed to terminate my own life. It’s only under extreme circumstances. I can not simply decide that I don’t want to live anymore, and that’s the end of me. Not allowed to, because the body isn’t really mine.
What about euthanasia? I don’t want to live anymore. What should the family do? Why don’t we ease them out of this world? I think according to Jewish tradition, if somebody is really brain-dead, really branded, and there is no hope for his recovery, don’t deprive him of oxygen and food, that you have to give him because nobody can live without it.
I want to understand, how it is that modern man, many of them, think that a woman should have the right to terminate the pregnancy. Why do they think so? I think it’s a consequence, it’s a corollary, of our entire philosophical appreciation of the role of human. What is my purpose in this world? Apparently we are self-centered, in modern society. What gives me pleasure that is valid, what I like that’s what I should do.
In Jewish tradition, you are not the center of the universe. In Jewish tradition, you are part of a whole. Your purpose in life is to better this world, to bring it closer to God, you have obligations, social obligations to bring society closer to God. You are not at the center of this world, you have to take care of yourself, but you can’t do everything, thinking that you and only you are the ones that have rights in this world.
Maybe we should rethink our modern attitude toward life, our purpose in this world, and maybe we’ll get a certain, a little bit of greater clarity when it comes to abortion.
In Jewish tradition, I think that abortion is allowed basically if it presents a health issue with a mother. If giving birth may cause the death of the mother, irreparable damage, then maybe we should abort the fetus.
We see, for instance as an example one of our matriarch Rachel, she died when she gave birth to a second son. I think that in modern times, it is relatively infrequent, but yet it can happen.On the other hand, if there’s a real case, you better consult with somebody, but in general abortion may not be the right path to follow in this world, if you consider that your basic responsibility is toward society in this world.