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Author Topic:   Abortion and Judaism
macaroniandcheese 
Suspended Member (Idle past 2437 days)
Posts: 4258
Joined: 05-24-2004


Message 1 of 14 (423217)
09-20-2007 11:05 AM


http://www.mnment.com/judaism/sex.php
Abortion
Jewish law not only permits, but in some circumstances requires abortion. Where the mother's life is in jeopardy because of the unborn child, abortion is mandatory.

An unborn child has the status of "potential human life" until the majority of the body has emerged from the mother. Potential human life is valuable, and may not be terminated casually, but it does not have as much value as a life in existence. The Talmud makes no bones about this: it says quite bluntly that if the fetus threatens the life of the mother, you cut it up within her body and remove it limb by limb if necessary, because its life is not as valuable as hers. But once the greater part of the body has emerged, you cannot take its life to save the mother's, because you cannot choose between one human life and another.

i found this online while looking for a mikvah, long story.

so, i thought we should discuss it. we often tout the judao-christian connection, but i really don't think we pay enough attention to the differences.

i thought it would be interesting to discuss other circumstances in which it would be required to abort. it should include source material, as this should be educational, since i know of precisely one jew on this board and i don't think i've seen him in a while. if it is required by one's religion to abort, then laws against abortion would not only defy a woman's right to private medical treatment, but also her first amendment right to religious expression.

so. can we discuss this without alleging that jews are wanton baby-killers?

Edited by brennakimi, : No reason given.

Edited by brennakimi, : No reason given.


Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by macaroniandcheese, posted 09-20-2007 8:57 PM macaroniandcheese has not yet responded
 Message 5 by Hyroglyphx, posted 09-22-2007 4:15 PM macaroniandcheese has responded
 Message 7 by macaroniandcheese, posted 09-25-2007 3:34 PM macaroniandcheese has not yet responded

  
macaroniandcheese 
Suspended Member (Idle past 2437 days)
Posts: 4258
Joined: 05-24-2004


Message 2 of 14 (423273)
09-20-2007 8:57 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by macaroniandcheese
09-20-2007 11:05 AM


um. hello?

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by AdminNem, posted 09-22-2007 3:27 PM macaroniandcheese has not yet responded

  
AdminNem
Inactive Member


Message 3 of 14 (423506)
09-22-2007 3:25 PM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.

  
AdminNem
Inactive Member


Message 4 of 14 (423508)
09-22-2007 3:27 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by macaroniandcheese
09-20-2007 8:57 PM


Where are those Admins when you need 'em, eh?
Sorry that you fell through the cracks for so long, Brenna.

Edited by AdminNem, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
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Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 6012
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 5 of 14 (423516)
09-22-2007 4:15 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by macaroniandcheese
09-20-2007 11:05 AM


Ectopic pregnancies
we often tout the judao-christian connection, but i really don't think we pay enough attention to the differences.

i thought it would be interesting to discuss other circumstances in which it would be required to abort.

I've always thought it was acceptable under life or death circumstances, such as an ectopic pregnancy. The reasoning is, if a fetus can't live outside the womb, but the mother will die, then saving the life of the mother at least spares one life instead of two.

so. can we discuss this without alleging that jews are wanton baby-killers?


"It is better to shun the bait, than struggle in the snare." -Ravi Zacharias

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by macaroniandcheese, posted 09-20-2007 11:05 AM macaroniandcheese has responded

Replies to this message:
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macaroniandcheese 
Suspended Member (Idle past 2437 days)
Posts: 4258
Joined: 05-24-2004


Message 6 of 14 (423795)
09-24-2007 10:54 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Hyroglyphx
09-22-2007 4:15 PM


Re: Ectopic pregnancies
all due respect, i'm not interested in what you think is acceptable. that's really off-topic here. i'm interested in what a religion requires as a medical service to women.

This message is a reply to:
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macaroniandcheese 
Suspended Member (Idle past 2437 days)
Posts: 4258
Joined: 05-24-2004


Message 7 of 14 (424101)
09-25-2007 3:34 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by macaroniandcheese
09-20-2007 11:05 AM


some info to spur discussion
http://www.religioustolerance.org/jud_abor.htm
Halacha (Jewish law) does define when a fetus becomes a nefesh (person). "...a baby...becomes a full-fledged human being when the head emerges from the womb. Before then, the fetus is considered a 'partial life.' " 5 In the case of a "feet-first" delivery, it happens when most of the fetal body is outside the mother's body.

Jewish beliefs and practice not neatly match either the "pro-life" nor the "pro-choice" points of view. The general principles of modern-day Judaism are that:

The fetus has great value because it is potentially a human life. It gains "full human status at birth only." 2

Abortions are not permitted on the grounds of genetic imperfections of the fetus.

Abortions are permitted to save the mother's life or health.

With the exception of some Orthodox authorities, Judaism supports abortion access for women.

"...each case must be decided individually by a rabbi well-versed in Jewish law." 5

Historical Christianity has considered "ensoulment," the point at which the soul enters the body) as the time when abortions should normally be prohibited. Belief about the timing of this event has varied from the instant of fertilization of the ovum, to 90 days after conception, or later. There has been no consensus among historical Jewish sources about when ensoulment happens. It is regarded as "one of the 'secrets of God' that will be revealed only when the Messiah comes."

"Rashi, the great 12th century commentator on the Bible and Talmud, states clearly of the fetus 'lav nefesh hu--it is not a person.' The Talmud contains the expression 'ubar yerech imo--the fetus is as the thigh of its mother,' i.e., the fetus is deemed to be part and parcel of the pregnant woman's body." 1 This is grounded in Exodus 21:22. That biblical passage outlines the Mosaic law in a case where a man is responsible for causing a woman's miscarriage, which kills the fetus If the woman survives, then the perpetrator has to pay a fine to the woman's husband. If the woman dies, then the perpetrator is also killed. This indicates that the fetus has value, but does not have the status of a person.

There are two additional passages in the Talmud which shed some light on the Jewish belief about abortion. They imply that the fetus is considered part of the mother, and not a separate entity:

One section states that if a man purchases a cow that is found to be pregnant, then he is the owner both of the cow and the fetus.

Another section states that if a pregnant woman converts to Judaism, that her conversion applies also to her fetus.

A passage from the Mishna quotes a Jewish legal text from the second century CE. It describes the situation in which a woman's life is endangered during childbirth. A D&X procedure (often called Partial Birth Abortion in recent years) might be used under these conditions today. However, this technique was unknown in ancient times. The legal text states that the fetus must be dismembered and removed limb by limb. However, if "the greater part" of the fetus had already been delivered, then the fetus could not be killed. This is based on the belief that the fetus only becomes a person after most of its body emerges from the birth canal. Before personhood has been reached, it may be necessary to "sacrifice a potential life in order to save a fully existent human life, i.e. the pregnant woman in labor." 1 After the forehead emerges from the birth canal, the fetus is regarded as a person. Neither the baby nor the mother can be killed to save the life of the other.

A second consideration is the principle of self-defense. Some Jewish authorities have asserted that if the fetus placed its mother's life at risk, then the mother should be permitted to kill the fetus to save herself, even if the "greater portion [of its body] had already emerged" from the birth canal.

Other abortions:
Some Jewish authorities have ruled in specific cases:

One case involved a woman who becomes pregnant while nursing a child. Her milk supply would dry up. If the child is allergic to all other forms of nutrition except for its mother's milk, then it would starve. An abortion would be permitted in this case. An abortion of the fetus, a potential person, would be justified to save the life of the child, an actual person.
An abortion would be permissible if the woman was suicidal because of her pregnancy.
Jewish authorities differed in a case where a continued pregnancy would leave the mother permanently deaf. She obtained permission for an abortion from the Chief Rabbi of Israel.
Many Jewish authorities permit abortion in the case of a pregnancy resulting from a rape, if needed in order save her great mental anguish.
Most authorities do not permit abortion in the event that the fetus is genetically defective or will probably pick up a disease from its mother. The rationale is that even though the child will be malformed, disabled, or diseased, it would still be formed in the image of the creator. Rabbi Eliezar Waldenberg is one authority who believes otherwise. He "allows first trimester abortion of a fetus which would be born with a deformity that would cause it to suffer, and termination of a fetus with a lethal fetal defect such as Tay Sachs up to the end of the second trimester of gestation." 3
An abortion is sometimes permitted if the woman suffers great emotional pain about the birth of a child who will experience health problems.
Abortions are not permitted for economic reasons, to avoid career inconveniences, or because the woman is unmarried.
In a very unusual case, a woman in New Jersey was pregnant with a hydroencephalic fetus. Its large head prevented a conventional delivery. The physician recommended a Caesarian section. But the woman asked for a D&X procedure on the grounds that the fetus' life was doomed anyway and a C section would weaken her uterus for her next pregnancy. Her rabbinic authorities agreed. 4

Political aspects of abortion access:
Conservative, Reconstructionist and Reform Judaism are formally opposed to government regulation of abortion. They feel that the decision should rest with the woman, her husband, doctor and clergyperson. Some Orthodox authorities agree with this stance.

All recognize that the decision to have an abortion is a difficult one, and is not to be undertaken without considerable thought.

sorry for the rampant quoting, but i thought it was important and no one follows links.

some other links for more stuff. please quote if you respond to one.

http://www.aish.com/societyWork/sciencenature/Abortion_in_Jewish_Law.asp
http://www.aish.com/societyWork/sciencenature/Abortion_in_Jewish_Law.asp
http://www.jofa.org/social.php/life/fertilityand/abortion
http://www.geocities.com/prolifejudaism/essay.htm
http://caae.phil.cmu.edu/Cavalier/Forum/abortion/background/judaism1.html
http://www.rcrc.org/perspectives/jewish.cfm
http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/abortion.html

Edited by brennakimi, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by macaroniandcheese, posted 09-20-2007 11:05 AM macaroniandcheese has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by seekingthetruth, posted 04-25-2008 1:47 PM macaroniandcheese has not yet responded

  
Am5n 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4411 days)
Posts: 106
From: New York City, New York, United States
Joined: 02-21-2007


Message 8 of 14 (425018)
09-30-2007 12:59 AM


I am very religious and I disagree with abortion.. though I believe it is up to the Lord, wither a life be taken or not. abortion is a crime, therefor I quote what the lord Jesus Christ has said in the vine yard of grapes: "whoever lives by the sword, shall die by the sword". Has man forgotten the cycle of reproduction and the responsibility for even a fetus has the right to live. No man has the power/authority to decide who lives and who dies, though doctors proceed a process, because another human has made a decision for the fetus.
1. Who has authority to decide what is living and what is not? in my own faith I can simply say: No one.

In order to understand the facts of life, you must understand faith, because without understanding faith, there is no understanding of life. abortion does have a purpose and a good reason as any. The fetus will probably die in the carriers womb, therefor if it threatens the life of another, it shall be aborted, because the fetus was not meant to be born in the 1st place. I honestly believe we don't make our own decisions, we can't think for ourselves and that there is a limit to our freedom, therefor we have some restrictions to the choices we make. I believe the Lord sometimes allows us to make certain choices, though the choice may result in some sort of consequence, wither you like it or not... it is not up to you to decide what is fair and unfair, because this is not my opinion.. but it is truly a "FACT" of life.

Edited by ThyShall, : I had to correct 2 sentences.. COME ON GIMME A BREAK! I'm ONLY HUMAN!

Edited by ThyShall, : I wanted to show my signature!


2 "Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you and you shall answer me." JOB 38:23

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by macaroniandcheese, posted 09-30-2007 10:17 AM Am5n has not yet responded
 Message 12 by Peal, posted 04-25-2008 2:16 PM Am5n has not yet responded

  
macaroniandcheese 
Suspended Member (Idle past 2437 days)
Posts: 4258
Joined: 05-24-2004


Message 9 of 14 (425078)
09-30-2007 10:17 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by Am5n
09-30-2007 12:59 AM


this isn't about "everybody voice your opinions on abortion!!!11one!"

try reading the topic and the materials referenced and then DISCUSS THE TOPIC.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by Am5n, posted 09-30-2007 12:59 AM Am5n has not yet responded

  
HisNails
Junior Member (Idle past 4423 days)
Posts: 3
Joined: 01-10-2008


Message 10 of 14 (449547)
01-18-2008 10:32 AM


I agree with many comments made so far there are some situations were although terrible it is nessary to have an abortion. The saftey of both the life within and the mother must be taken into account. Also taken into account is what will the quality of life be for the child if it is born? Will it be born to deformed to function or live a happy life??

  
seekingthetruth
Junior Member (Idle past 4325 days)
Posts: 23
From: Austin, Texas
Joined: 04-17-2008


Message 11 of 14 (464424)
04-25-2008 1:47 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by macaroniandcheese
09-25-2007 3:34 PM


Re: some info to spur discussion
brennakimi writes:

Abortions are permitted to save the mother's life or health.

This does not say that abortion is required, it says it is only "permitted". This would still leave the decision up to the mother.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by macaroniandcheese, posted 09-25-2007 3:34 PM macaroniandcheese has not yet responded

  
Peal
Member (Idle past 3208 days)
Posts: 64
Joined: 03-11-2004


Message 12 of 14 (464427)
04-25-2008 2:16 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Am5n
09-30-2007 12:59 AM


I am very religious and I disagree with abortion.. though I believe it is up to the Lord, wither a life be taken or not. abortion is a crime, therefor I quote what the lord Jesus Christ has said in the vine yard of grapes: "whoever lives by the sword, shall die by the sword".

Just curious, is it your belief that George Bush and Dick Cheney should die by the sword or is war ok for you to accept killing?

edit by Peal, spelled Mr Cheney's name wrong.

Edited by Peal, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by Am5n, posted 09-30-2007 12:59 AM Am5n has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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Rahvin
Member (Idle past 164 days)
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 13 of 14 (464449)
04-25-2008 4:16 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by Peal
04-25-2008 2:16 PM


Dont expect a reply from Am5n. Hes been banned permanently due to some rather childish threats (among other things) made against this site and its owner.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by Peal, posted 04-25-2008 2:16 PM Peal has responded

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Peal
Member (Idle past 3208 days)
Posts: 64
Joined: 03-11-2004


Message 14 of 14 (464450)
04-25-2008 4:26 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by Rahvin
04-25-2008 4:16 PM


Thanks,
I just noticed the date that he made his post.

This message is a reply to:
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