Abortion In Judaism

1284 Words 6 Pages
When Judaism was founded, its view of a god was much different from those of pre-existing religions. The monotheistic religion viewed God as kind, merciful, and selfless. Other religion’s saw their gods as self-concerning, amoral beings. Judaism’s God also made man. In the Torah, Genesis 1:26-27 states, “And God created man in His image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” From this quote, many conclude that since God made man, then abortion must be a bad thing in Judaism: not necessarily. In fact, the Torah does not address abortion. Judaism has a very unique approach to abortion. The religions can neither be categorized by pro-life or pro-choice, majorly because Jews have their own legal ethics and …show more content…
These exceptions to terminate a pregnancy include circumstances, such as rape, age of the woman, disabilities of child, or danger to the mother. The greatest concern is the danger it imposes upon the mother. The Ohalot (7:6), the second tractate of the Order of Tohorot in the Mishnah, states, “If a woman has [life-threatening] difficulty in childbirth, the embryo within her should be dismembered limb by limb, because her life takes precedence over its life. Once its head (or its greater part) has emerged, it may not be touched, for we do not set aside one life for another.” This quote states that the fetus’s life, up until childbirth, isn’t as important as a living being. Therefore, the mother’s life is of the primary concern and if the baby’s must be taken to preserve hers, it will. This statement is a great example of Pikuach Nefesh, a principle in Jewish law that says if someone is in danger, rules or commands in the Torah become inapplicable. Dangers that justify abortion not only include physical danger, but also …show more content…
However, as new issues concerning Jewish law are brought to attention, there can be modifications to specific rules. In most cases when Jews need guidance, they go to their local Rabbis, but in cases that have an undetermined course of action, Conservative Jews can turn to The Committee of Jewish Laws and Standards. This committee is a group of twenty-five Rabbis who determine the boundaries of Jewish law through the halakhic policy. Through this ethical and religious system of legal precedents, the Conservative Judaic Committee can review many cases, some of which include abortion. An example of one of the cases that the Committee voted on was if a partial-birth abortion is permitted to be performed. A partial-birth abortion is when the living baby is pulled out feet first up to its neck, the skull puncture, the brain extracted, and then the dead baby delivered. On September 17th, 2003, the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards voted for the allowance of this abortion technique. The Committee of Conservative Rabbis has been reforming Judaic law since

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