6 Myths About Abortion
1. Abortion is prohibited by the Bible. Regardless of what the Bible says about abortion, it shouldn’t matter. United States is not a theocracy in the traditional sense. Despite this, given the conviction of abortion opponents that abortion is a violation of God’s Word, it may come as a surprise that neither the Old Testament nor the New Testament address abortion—not even a single word about the practice. In addition, the Old Testament is not averse to discussing women’s bodies in general. Menstruation receives a great deal of attention.
As to how the writers (or Author) could prescribe what should happen to a woman who attempts to assist her husband in a battle by grasping the other man’s testicles (her hand should be chopped off), yet did not believe that abortion warranted even a passing mention, it is puzzling.
Midwives would have been well-versed in the art of inducing a miscarriage.
Most current interpretations of this verse argue that it makes a distinction between producing a preterm birth (fine) and causing a miscarriage (death punishment), which is consistent with the interpretation of abortion opponents today.
- Given the fact that anti-abortion exegetes are just now discovering evidence for an absolute biblical prohibition on abortion in this very obscure text, one has to question why no one else has noticed it before.
- The New Testament provided God with a second opportunity to express himself clearly on the subject of abortion.
- He didn’t say anything about abortion, however.
- Opponents of abortion argue that young girls and women are routinely coerced or harassed into terminating unwanted pregnancies.
- The 64 percent figure comes from a 2004 article in Medical Science Monitor by Vincent M.
- Coleman, James J.
Reardon, titled “Induced Abortion and Traumatic Stress: A Preliminary Comparison of American and Russian Women.” Rue, Coleman, Rue, and Reardon were the first to report the figure.
For example, according to its Web site, the name was “selected from a baby names book” for its ability to seem welcoming while yet being scholarly.
A number of additional false studies have appeared in Medical Science Monitor, an online publication, including pieces maintaining the debunked vaccine-autism link.
However, there are a lot of issues with the research in question, which was actually not about coercion but rather about comparing the post-abortion suffering experienced by American and Russian women.
They were also considerably more white and middle-class than the average population of women who had abortions, and they were reporting on abortions that occurred a decade earlier.
“Health difficulties” following the abortion were reported by 33% of those who had one, which might indicate anything.
In an unusual twist, the American women, but not the Russian women, revealed that they had experienced a great deal of abuse and trauma in their lives prior to the abortion.
In a 2005 poll conducted by the Guttmacher Institute, 1,209 women were asked about their reasons for having an abortion.
(This is a significant decrease from a comparable study conducted in 1987, in which 24 percent of women stated the wishes of their husbands/partners and 8 percent mentioned the wants of their mothers/grandmothers).
Anti-abortion literature is replete with accounts of women who have been seriously hurt or even died in abortion clinics.
Steven Brigham has been involved in court disputes in a number of states.
There are, without a doubt, more substandard clinics out there.
Abortion, on the other hand, is incredibly safe.
A total of eight women died as a result of abortions in 2009.
What about Viagra, you ask?
Legislators, on the other hand, are not asking for a ban on Viagra.
Women die at a rate of 8.8 deaths per 100,000 in this group.
(Also, the maternal death rate is increasing in the United States, despite the fact that it is decreasing across the world.) Strangely, no one has suggested that obstetricians be required to read pregnant people scripts about the hazards that lie ahead before sending them home for 24 hours to consider whether or not they want to proceed with the pregnancy or not.
There are an excessive number of abortions.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, abortion rates dropped by 13 percent in 2011 compared to the previous year, mostly as a result of increased access to birth control and longer-acting birth control techniques such as the IUD.
However, the majority of the time, what people are saying is that women are too casual about sex and contraception.
As Will Saletan points out, it is impossible to condemn abortion as immoral and to maintain that the optimal number of abortions is zero, without also criticizing the particular woman who has put herself in this predicament and now wishes to do something wrong in order to get herself out of it.
Abortion is racially discriminatory.
The advertisement, which featured an attractive young black child dressed in a charming pink frock, stated that “The Most Dangerous Place for an African American Is in the Womb.” An image of a tiny black child with the caption “Black Children Are an Endangered Species” was shown on billboards in Atlanta the year before.
- However, the claim that abortion is racist is one that is frequently heard in the pro-life movement.
- It doesn’t make much sense when stated in this manner.
- Because abortion opponents may portray the procedure as a kind of slavery or genocide, they can claim to be anti-racists without having to understand anything about the lives of black women or do anything to help remedy the massive and still-unabated consequences of slavery and segregation.
- That’s what they usually say: women are the “other victim” of abortion, and only the abortion providers should be prosecuted with a crime.
- I admit that the idea of putting women on trial for abortion seems far-fetched right now.
- However, the groundwork is already being laid.
- Many women have been arrested and some have been imprisoned for drug use or other inappropriate behavior while pregnant, even when no negative consequences have resulted and even when the law was clearly intended for another purpose (to protect living children from meth labs, for example).
- They were successful in getting the federal Unborn Victims of Violence Act passed, which made causing the killing of embryos and fetuses a separate crime from causing damage to the pregnant woman, as well as variants of that law passed in numerous states across the country.
In light of the growing restrictions on abortion, as well as the embryo and fetus being recognized as legal persons in an expanding number of areas of the law, it is becoming increasingly difficult to argue that a pregnant woman’s actions during pregnancy should not be subject to judicial scrutiny.
and Learning to Drive, as well as a poet, writer, and Nation magazine columnist.
She currently resides in New York City.
Katha Pollitt has copyright protection for the year 2014. All intellectual property rights are retained. Continue reading this: Dear Conservative Brothers and Sisters: Do you want to see fewer abortions? Tolerate Contraception in Moderation
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What Does the Bible Actually Say about Abortion?
After a United Methodist pastor in Birmingham, Alabama called Dave Barnhart posted something on social media concerning abortion critics in 2020, the post garnered much attention from people on both sides of the abortion question. He stated that the “unborn” are a very handy group to organize around since they make no demands of you and are not ethically complicated—in contrast to people in jail, those suffering from addictions, and those imprisoned in poverty, he stated that they are. “You may love the unborn and campaign for them without materially questioning your own riches, power, or privilege, without re-imagining societal systems, apologizing, or making restitution to anybody.
- A resounding and resolute statement, to be sure.
- That, at least, is true of a great many inside the movement.
- But, first, let’s look at what Jesus and the Bible truly say regarding the matter of abortion.
- As with homosexualityand a number of other problems that appear to so ignite and upset conservative Christians, abortion is barely referenced in the Bible.
- The absence of numerous prohibitions against it is something we are disappointed about.
- Which is a rigorous legal code for an ancient people living without police, a sophisticated court system, or any of the social or restrictive systems taken for granted in current times.
- That doesn’t imply, of course, that abortion isn’t referenced in scripture.
“I curse the man who broke the news to my father, telling him, ‘A child has been born to you, a son,’ making him overjoyed in the process.
The anti-abortion movement does not, perhaps predictably, make use of biblical references, but another passage from Jeremiah is most certainly one of them.
This is primarily due to the fact that it is one of the few that they can discover.
It is a reference to a specific plan for one man rather than a general approach to biology and reproduction, and it is a reference to God’s vision as well as the significance of Jeremiah and his purpose on earth.
Psalm 139 has another another frequently quoted passage, this one again mentioning the womb.
I thank you for creating me in such a dreadfully and beautifully way.
When I was being created in secrecy, delicately woven in the bowels of the ground, my frame was not concealed from you.
My unformed material was visible to your gaze.
But, once more, what exactly is being said?
The Christian concept is that God is aware of everything, including ourselves, and understands who and what we are.
She is aware of the kindness and purity that exist in her heart, as well as the harshness of others who criticize her.
The tale of Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, which appears in the New Testament, is another biblical reference that is commonly used in opposition to abortion.
But, more importantly, does it have anything to say regarding the issue of abortion?
First because it basically portrays movement in the womb and second because this is a reference to persons who are not conventional, not normal, not as the rest of us.
It is not intended to be a guide to female reproduction.
Exodus 21:22 is, however, a section of the Bible that truly does reference the fetus.
If a woman is harmed in a battle and later suffers a miscarriage, the penalty is a fine, a minimal pecuniary payment.
For better or worse, the life and well-being of the mother are far more important than the lives and well-being of her unborn kid.
However, in recent years, the anti-abortion movement, which was a pillar of the Donald Trump presidency, has become increasingly ideologically conservative, and it tends to be strongly supportive of the military and an aggressive foreign policy.
Inconsistency and inconsistency are inherent in the human condition.
Abortion isn’t a holocaust, the Holocaust was a holocaust.
That’s all there is to it when it comes to the Bible.
Instead of requiring abortion rights, it is more accurate to state that the Bible does not have anything relevant to say on the matter.
In my experience, I have never encountered someone who believes that abortion is either good or desired; nonetheless, most individuals would argue that any sort of surgery or medical intervention is either good or desirable.
The situation is made much more problematic by the fact that, in the instance of abortion, the “potential” for life is unquestionably there.
However, these are not the fundamental causes of abortion in general, and the answer is not to restrict women’s freedom, but rather to create communities in which persons with disabilities do not encounter prejudice and in which gender equality is the absolute standard.
Female patients are subjected to a barrage of humiliation and degradation outside of clinics, which is truly appalling.
Then there are some who persist on distributing millions of flyers depicting graphic, bloody images of abortions, even if it means shoving them through the front doors of private houses where it is possible that children may come into contact with them.
Violence has unquestionably occurred, and it has included kidnapping, assault, attempted murder, murder, arson, bombings, and stalking, among other acts of violence.
Attacks have also been carried out in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and other countries.
As recently as late November 2015, a shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs claimed the lives of three individuals and wounded numerous more.
It occurs even in Canada, which is regarded as a tranquil and moderate country.
In 1997, a sniper opened fire on Manitoba doctor Jack Fainman, an obstetrician who also performed abortions, while he was sitting in his living room.
He was able to live, but his injuries prevented him from returning to his previous profession as a doctor.
The anti-abortion movement has been tainted by violence, ugliness, and intolerance, and all signs indicate that these feelings and attitudes are only becoming worse.
It’s also a rather recent development.
After three years of deliberation and debate, the Southern Baptist Convention, perhaps the most influential conservative denomination in North America, passed a resolution urging “Southern Baptists to work for legislation that will allow the possibility of abortion under such circumstances as rape, incest, clear evidence of severe fetal deformity, and carefully ascertained evidence of the likelihood of damage to the emotional, mental, and physical health of a mother.” The reference to the emotional, mental, and physical health of the mother who is carrying the fetus leaves the door wide open for abortion rights to be granted under certain circumstances.
- The exponential growth of radical opposition to abortion within evangelical Christianity is also brought into sharp focus, making it appear extremely contemporary.
- In the United States, Republican leaders may have a variety of positions on a variety of subjects, but opposition to abortion has practically become a sacrament in the reactionary catechism of thought.
- A major element of control may be seen in all Christian resistance to abortion, a belief that women do not deserve autonomy and are instead vessels and vehicles for children.
- Aside from the obvious offensiveness of it all, it’s just not biblical in the first place.
- Jesus’ mother, Mary, instructs him to execute his first miracle, the changing of water into wine, at the behest of a woman.
It is Mary who says, “He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in their hearts.” In his reign, he has deposed the mighty from their thrones and exalted the lowly; in his reign, he has provided food for the hungry while sending the wealthy away empty.” Jesus is concerned with the humanity and equality of all people.
- This magnificent rebel should not be reduced to a poster or a slogan that is used to harm half of the world’s population, causing them to become powerless and destitute in their own country.
- All intellectual property rights are retained.
- On November 3, 2021, the following correction was made: Clayton Waagner’s last name was misspelled in a previous version of this article.
- Michael Coren is the author of seventeen novels, four of which have been blockbusters, which have been published in twelve different languages worldwide.
He is also an ordained minister in the Anglican Church of Canada, in addition to being an award-winning columnist. He currently resides in Toronto.
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What does the Bible say about abortion? – Friends of Care Net
When it comes to abortion, what does the Bible have to say? The explanation is that the word abortion does not appear anywhere in the Bible. That does not imply that it is deafeningly silent on the subject, for it has a great deal to say about the beginning of life. The Bible is unequivocal in its assertion that the unborn child is a precious life. Psalm 139, written by King David, is a magnificent illustration of this. Thirteen Because You made my inmost being; You knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
- I was not concealed from You when I was created in the secret spot, or when I was knitted together in the depths of the ground, because my frame was not hidden from You.
- You saw my unformed body before it was formed.
- And he isn’t the only one.
- Keep in mind that you used to sculpt me like clay.
- In the words of the prophet Jeremiah, “He did not murder me while I was in the womb; else, my mother would have become my grave” (20:17).
- It is in texts like these and others that the Bible recognizes the existence and worth of unborn infants.
- “He himself provides everyone with life, breath, and everything else,” Paul asserts in Romans (Acts 17:25).
- To be sure, none of the biblical authors claimed to be speaking on behalf of science.
- As a result, they speak from a position of common theological sense.
- Instead, they are all a part of a life-long continuum that begins at the time of conception and continues until death.
- The length of one’s life is not determined by one’s size or distance from the birth canal.
When God begins the process of creating life, he acts in a certain way. The fact is that God not only creates human life, but He is also intimately involved in the process. When the Bible speaks of God knowing certain people when they are still in the womb, this is confirmed. As an illustration,
- Jacob and Esau: “The kids jostled around inside her, and she wondered aloud, “Why is this happening to me?” Jacob and Esau: As a result, she went to the Lord to enquire. ‘Two countries are in your womb, and two peoples from inside you will be divided
- One people will be stronger than the other, and the elder will serve the younger,’ the Lord said to her. When the time came for her to give birth, she discovered that she was carrying twin boys in her womb.” (Genesis 25:22-24)
- Jeremiah: “Before I made you in the womb, I knew you
- Before you were born, I set you aside
- I designated you as a prophet to the nations” (Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you)
- In the book of Jeremiah, verse 5, David says, “Your eyes beheld my unformed body
- All the days set for me were recorded in your book before one of them came into being.” According to Psalm 139:16, Paul says, “God, who separated me from my mother’s husband and called me by his kindness,” John the Baptist says, “he will be great in the sight of the Lord. and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born” (Galatians 1:15). Matthew 1:20
- Jesus says to Joseph, “Joseph son of David, do not be frightened to take Mary home as your wife, for what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit” (Luke 1:15).
Even if none of us can claim to be Jeremiah or Paul, we can still be confident in God’s plan for our lives if we follow his lead. “From one man, He created all the nations, so that they may populate the entire globe; and He set out their assigned times in history, as well as the boundaries of their territories,” writes Paul. God did everything in order for them to seek Him and, if they do, to reach out for Him and locate Him” (Acts 17:26-27). The Bible, on the other hand, will not allow us to stop here.
- This is a significant step forward.
- His voice resounds from the summit of Mount Sinai: “You must not murder” (Exodus 20:3).
- The Bible teaches us about a God who is always ready to come to the help of those who are in need as we turn the pages of the pages of the Bible.
- Israel performed hymns in which God was described as “a father to the fatherless” and “a protector of widows,” among other things (Psalm 68:5).
- A person who is unable to protest is rendered helpless.
- Furthermore, God asks that his people emulate Him by defending the vulnerable and the fatherless, as well as defending those who are persecuted or impoverished.
- “Save those who are being dragged away to death; keep those who are stumbling toward slaughter at bay” (Prov.24:11).
- In an attempt to explain their actions, many people in society ask themselves, “Who is my neighbor?” God prefers that the church deal in kindness rather than technicalities, according to Luke 10:29.
Biblical views on abortion: an Episcopal perspective
In order to identify the biblical and traditional attitudes about abortion, a great deal of scholarly effort has been done. It is necessary to enquire as to what was said and why it was stated, as well as what the context was, and to inquire as to what was not mentioned. Several of the results found in academic literature are discussed in this section of the discussion guide. Although the word “abortion” is not used in the Bible, the book has several passages that address the subject. The most prominent text is Exodus 21:22-25, which is found in the Hebrew Bible.
After that, a distinction is drawn between the punishment to be exacted for the loss of the fetus and the penalty to be exacted for the harm to the woman.
If the lady is harmed or killed, however, the law of “lex talionis” is enforced, which means “life for life, eye for eye, and so on.” The narrative has only a limited relevance to the present abortion issue because it deals with an unintentional pregnancy termination rather than a purposeful termination.
- Under the convenant, the mother is regarded as a person, but the fetus is regarded as property.
- This paragraph provides no support for the parity argument, which holds that a woman and a fetus are of equal religious and moral worth.
- As a result, the biblical portrayal of a person is that of a complex, multifaceted entity with the power and duty to make decisions on his or her own own.
- When it comes to the subject of abortion, the one individual who certainly matches this description of personhood is the woman who is expecting a child.
- According to biblical standards, this is a god-like choice.
Because if one does not think that the fetus is a person until the age of majority, the act must be defined differently than if one believes that the fetus is a person from conception, the act must be defined differently as well.
- P. Ladriere, P. Ladriere, P. Ladriere, P. Ladriere, P. Ladriere, P. Ladriere, P. Ladriere, P. Ladriere, P. Ladriere, P. Ladriere, P. Rev Fr Sociol. 1982
- Rev Fr Sociol French
- Abortion: a handbook to making ethical decisions about the procedure. Maguire MR, Maguire DC.Maguire MR, et al.Maguire MR, et al. Conscience. September 1983
- 4(5):1-15. Abortion ethics, 1983, PMID:12178929
- Conscience, 1983, PMID:12178929
- Conscience, 1983, PMID MJ Fromer. MJ Fromer. MJ Fromer. Nursing Outlook, April 1982, 30(4):234-40. PMID: 7041095 for Nursing Outlook, 1982. Abortion is the life-giving breath. Joling RJ.Joling RJ.Joling RJ. Med Trial Tech Q, vol. 21, no. 2, 1974, pp. 199-232. The Medical Trial Technology Quarterly, 1974, PMID:4613988 A dualist theory of abortion: the idea of personhood and the concept of the self as an experiencing subject are discussed in detail. Himma KE.Himma KE.Himma KE.Himma KE. The Journal of Medical Ethics, January 2005, 31(1):48-55. doi: 10.1136/jme.2002.000828.J Med Ethics, 2005, PMID:15634753 PMC article that is completely free. Review
What does the Bible really say about abortion?
As he makes his way outside St. John’s Church, which is across Lafayette Park from the White House, President Donald Trump carries a Bible on June 1, 2020, in Washington. (Photo courtesy of AP photographer Patrick Semansky) — The Royal National Society (RNS) One of the most memorable images in contemporary politics is that of President Donald Trump, who is widely considered to be the most profane person to have ever occupied the White House, holding a Bible in front of a boarded-up St. John’s Lafayette Church, a symbol of his unwavering commitment to his evangelical Christian supporters.
It is this same urge that has pushed Amy Coney Barrett, a conservative Catholic, to the threshold of the United States Supreme Court of the United States of America However, regardless of the president’s own personal morality, the argument goes, he supports “biblical ideals” and, as a result, may be considered as a representative of God.
- This gap is never more clear than in the argument over abortion and the alleged “right to life” of the unborn child.
- God warns Noah in Chapter 9 after the flood, “Whoever bleeds the blood of a human, by a human shall that person’s blood be spilt,” since “God created humans in his own image,” according to the Bible.
- Given that humans were made in the image of God, life is safeguarded, but the penalty for slaughter is much greater death.
- The Bible, on the other hand, is devoid of any mention of human rights.
- The dispute over the right to life is not mainly focused on the death sentence, but rather on abortion as a matter of principle.
- Abortion, on the other hand, is never referenced once in the whole corpus of biblical law.
- (Image courtesy of AP Photographer Alex Brandon) It is certain that the practice existed in antiquity.
Assyrians, who were predominantly known for their harshness in combat rather than for their care for the lives of the defenseless, were the only people in the ancient Near East who publicly denounced it.
The prophet Jeremiah blames the day he was born, as well as the man who informed his father of his birth, “since he did not murder me in the womb so that my mother would have become my tomb,” according to the prophet.
“When individuals who are fighting damage a pregnant woman such that she has a miscarriage but no other harm happens,” according to the text of Exodus’ 21st chapter (in Hebrew), there is a pecuniary punishment imposed on the perpetrators.
If the kid was not completely developed when it was born, the punishment is monetary, as was customary for property offences.
Opinions on when the fetus reaches this stage have vary throughout the years, depending on who you talk to.
If this has occurred, abortion will no longer be an option.
Modern medicine makes it possible to be more aware of the phases of development occurring within the womb.
While the Jewish historian Josephus claims that abortion is prohibited by the Law of Moses — that is to say the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, or Old Testament — and is therefore considered infanticide, there is no such law in the Bible.
It is the Mishnah (a collection of laws based on oral tradition, written down around 200 CE), which is more typical of Jewish tradition, which allows abortion in the case of difficult, potentially life-threatening labor, on the grounds that the life of the mother takes precedence over that of the child.
Earliest recorded in the second century CE, the Didache, a literature that purports to be based on the teachings of the apostles, and in the Epistle of Barnabas, another early Christian work that was modeled on the letters of Paul, are the first unequivocal condemnations of abortion in Christian tradition.
- Abortion is not prohibited by the Bible, but it is also not permitted by the Bible.
- It’s possible that it wasn’t extensively practiced.
- Children were typically seen as a blessing, whilst childlessness was regarded as a curse in ancient times.
- It does not recognize a right to life for the fetus, nor does it recognize a woman’s right to choose.
- No matter what religious affiliation one has, everyone in the modern world is affected by the heritage of the Enlightenment, which gave us the discourse on human rights.
- However, there is no line that can be drawn between Trump’s Bible display and a Supreme Court justice who may overturn Roe v.
- Christians, on the other hand, who turn to Scripture in order to trump a political debate with the force of biblical authority should be reminded that the Bible does not actually say anything about the subject at all.
In addition to being the Holmes Professor of Old Testament at Yale Divinity School, John J. Collins is the author of “What Are Biblical Values? What the Bible Says on Key Ethical Issues.” The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect those of Religion News Service.)
Jews, outraged by restrictive abortion laws, are invoking the Hebrew Bible in the debate
During a visit to St. John’s Church on June 1, 2020, across Lafayette Park from the White House in Washington, President Donald Trump is holding a Bible. Photo by Patrick Semansky for the Associated Press / A report from the Royal National Society says that It’s one of the most memorable images in contemporary politics to see President Donald Trump, who is widely considered to be the most profane person to have ever served in the White House, holding a Bible in front of a boarded-up St. John’s Lafayette Church, a sign to evangelical Christian supporters of his unwavering commitment to them The president’s support for evangelicals’ pro-life values is critical to maintaining that link with evangelicals.
- However, regardless of the president’s own personal morality, the argument goes, he supports “biblical ideals” and, as a result, may be seen as a divine actor.
- It’s hard to find a better example of this divergence than in the argument over abortion and the alleged “right to life.” From the very beginning of its first book, Genesis, the Bible expresses conflicting views on the question of human existence.
- RELATED: Gaining Catholics’ hearts and minds in a church that is split is a difficult task.
- Even human sacrifice can be required by God on occasion, as was the case of Abraham and Isaac, and the death sentence is often prescribed in the Bible for a variety of crimes.
- God has given us life as a gift, and he will take it away from us at his discretion.
- As a result of the prominence conservative Christians, both Catholic and Protestant, have accorded abortion in recent years, some could conclude that their personal opposition to abortion is rooted in some way in biblical teaching.
- Judge Amy Coney Barrett talks in the Rose Garden of the White House following President Donald Trump’s announcement of Barrett as his candidate to the Supreme Court on September 26, 2020, in Washington.
Even in antiquity, the practice was unquestionably popular.
Among those living in the ancient Near East who clearly opposed it were the Assyrians, who are more commonly associated with battle than with compassion for the lives of the weak and defenseless.
The prophet Jeremiah blames the day he was born as well as the man who informed his father of his birth, “since he did not murder me in the womb so that my mother would have become my grave,” according to the prophet.
The passage that served as the foundation for later discussion in Jewish tradition is found in Exodus, whose 21st chapter states (in Hebrew): “When individuals who are fighting damage a pregnant woman such that she miscarries but no other harm happens,” there is a pecuniary punishment.
Depending on whether the infant was completely developed, the punishment is monetary, as was customary for property offences in previous decades.
Concerning the precise moment at which this stage is reached by the fetus has been a source of debate for hundreds of years.
Abstinence from abortion becomes impossible if this happens.
Modern medicine makes it possible to be more aware of the phases of development occurring within the womb than previously possible.
As far as abortion itself is concerned, the Jewish historian Josephus, writing at the end of the first century CE, claims that the Law of Moses — that is, the first five books of the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament — forbids abortion and regards it as infanticide, but there is no such law in the Bible, according to the most recent scholarship.
This is more typical of Jewish tradition.
Earliest recorded in the second century CE, the Didache, a literature that purports to be based on the teachings of the apostles, and in the Epistle of Barnabas, another early Christian work that was patterned on the letters of Paul, are the first unequivocal condemnations of abortion in the Christian tradition.
- Abortion is not prohibited by the Bible, but it is also not permitted by it.
- This may have been a rare occurrence in the past.
- Generally speaking, children were considered a blessing, and being childless was considered an affliction.
- A fetus’s right to life is not recognized, and neither is a woman’s right to make her own reproductive decisions.
- No matter what religious affiliation one has, everyone in the modern world is influenced by the legacy of the Enlightenment, which gave us the discourse on human rights.
- The line between Trump’s Bible exhibit and a Supreme Court justice who has the potential to overturn Roe v.
- The Bible does not really say anything about the matter, thus Christians who resort to Scripture to trump a political discussion with the force of biblical authority should be reminded that this is not the case.
(John J. Collins is the Holmes Professor of Old Testament at Yale Divinity School and the author of “What Are Biblical Values? “). “What the Bible Says on the Most Important Ethical Issues.” Religious News Service does not necessarily endorse the opinions represented in this post.)
What Jewish lawmakers say about abortion rights
Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., likes to joke that she took tikkun olam so seriously that she ended up in politics as a result of her devotion. Tickkun olam – Hebrew for “repair the world” – is a call to action in the Jewish faith, a notion defined by acts of compassion and service that contribute to the healing of the world. Wasserman Schultz, the first Jewish woman elected to represent Florida in Congress, believes her religious beliefs influence her political decisions on a daily basis.
” Therefore, when I consider a woman’s right to choose her own reproductive options, I consider the Jewish tradition that I’ve been taught, which holds that existing life should take precedence over potential life, and that a woman’s life and pain should take precedence over the life of an unborn child.
It is in Exodus Chapter 21, verses 22-23 that the strongest argument in the Hebrew Bible for abortion is found: “If people are fighting and someone hits a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows.” In the event of significant harm, you will be required to take a life for a life.” In this text, the phrase “gives birth prematurely” might refer to a miscarriage in which the fetus is stillborn.
Because there is no expectation that the person who caused the miscarriage would be held criminally accountable for murder, Jewish scholars say that a fetus is not regarded to be a separate person or to have a separate soul.
From conception till delivery, the fetus is regarded “mere fluid,” according to the Talmud, and remains as a part of the mother until she gives birth after the 40-day mark has passed.
Rabbi Elizer Waldenberg, a notable authority on Jewish law who died in 2006, noted in Tzitz Eliezer, his primary work, that “it is apparent that in Jewish law an Israelite is not susceptible to the death penalty for feticide.” An Israeli lady was granted permission to have a therapeutic abortion, despite the fact that her life was not in danger.
- This principle also enables a woman to seek an abortion, particularly if her own life is in danger.
- Her response is, “I’m not going to tell you that your interpretation of Scripture is erroneous,” she adds.
- During her 24 years as a member of the United States Senate representing California, Barbara Boxer was one of the most renowned Jewish senators in the country.
- However, that is precisely what they are – personal opinions, not anything on which everyone else should remark or on which legislation should be enacted.
and I believe I am demonstrating respect for religion by stating that I would fight for your rights regardless of your religious beliefs.”
Religious freedom concerns
According to Rabbi Michael Adam Latz of Minneapolis, the battle for abortion rights – as well as legislators who use their religious beliefs as justifications for passing specific legislation — is part of a bigger debate. That shouldn’t be a source of concern only for Jews, whose tradition teaches something different from Evangelical Christianity, according to him. Anyone who believes in religious liberty should be concerned about this. Although Latz acknowledges that there are others who disagree with him, he believes that imposing one faith tradition on a country that prides itself on religious plurality is “not truly how a democracy runs,” but rather how a theocracy functions.
Sheila Katz, the CEO of the National Council of Jewish Women, echoes this attitude in her speech.
When males try to exert control over women’s bodies, she adds, it gets her enraged.
According to her, “as Jews, we understand that real religious freedom is a shield to defend all religions, never a sword to discriminate.” “A lot of the time, it feels like religion is being used to discriminate – and that is not something we support, no matter what subject we are discussing.” Latz has spent a significant amount of time advocating about women’s rights, both from the pulpit and in informal talks with members of his church.
The directness with which he communicates, he claims, can catch some people off guard.
“This is only the most recent chapter.
Abortion felt like only option
According to at least one Jewish activist, this is especially true in this case. She didn’t necessarily want an abortion, but she felt she had no other option because she was pregnant. Nancy Litz didn’t want to get pregnant in 1967, and it was her first pregnancy. Litz, then a freshman in college, decided that terminating her pregnancy was a necessity six years before the Roe v. Wade decision would secure a woman’s access to a safe and legal abortion. In addition to her father’s death, her mother, who had always dreamt of going away to college herself, was going through what Litz characterized as “a brutally terrible period in her own life,” which she described as “a horribly traumatic point in her own life.” She had no idea that she was ruining a human life when she did what she did.
The lives of the individuals I already knew and loved were far more important to me than the lives of the people I met and fell in love with.” A friend introduced Litz to a doctor, who she claims informed her he was driven to conduct the unlawful treatment because he had daughters of his own who were college age and he didn’t want them to risk their lives in a risky, back-alley operation in the hope of escaping their predicament.
52 years later, Litz resides in St.
Her abortion experience was not horrible, and there were no long-term ramifications from it.
She is concerned about the possibility of Roe being reversed, as well as the way other religious leaders are framing the discussion surrounding abortion.
Litz shared his thoughts.
Litz converted to Judaism in his final years.
Even if she had been involved in the church at the time of her pregnancy, she doesn’t believe she would have sought advice from a minister since, in the 1960s, abortion was not something that was freely discussed.
She recalls that the media was preoccupied for a period of time with a woman who had traveled all the way to Japan in order to obtain abortion services.
Abortion in the United States would not be eliminated if Roe v.
This is what occurs after that.
Litz, like many other campaigners, is sure that criminalizing abortion would not stop it; rather, it will make it more lethal.
Several years after her abortion, Litz was moved to tears when she learned that in 1967, botched abortions were responsible for 42 percent of all maternal deaths in the United States.
Litz says she is frequently congratulated privately by other women who have had abortions, women who comment on her bravery and honesty, acknowledging that they would never be able to share their experiences publicly in the same manner she does.
We, as people of religion who have differing precise convictions about the significance of terminating a pregnancy, should be equally free to communicate our truth, why can’t we?
My disappointment is that the extreme right wing conservatives, that particular portion of Christianity, have taken over the entire issue. They position themselves as speaking on behalf of all persons of religion, while in reality, this is not the case.”