Jewish view on medical ethic Abortion- Ari Afilalo
The approach of the Halachic laws remains unchanged. Halakhah laws or also known as Halakha laws is a collective body of Jewish religious laws. They are obtained from the Written and Oral Torah. They are used to since biblical times to order the religious practices and routine life. There are so many laws that are made for Jewish people and they need to follow them. Under the medical ethics, abortion is one of the categories that is elaborated in a great way in Judaism.
As we all know, that abortion is a process, in which the woman’s pregnancy is terminated artificially. Abortion is required sometimes due to health issues of the Jewish women and sometimes the health of the child itself is not well. It is seen many a time that if there is no growth in the health of the baby in the womb then the abortion is recommended by the doctors. In Judaism, the abortion is not completely forbidden or completely allowed. The description and explanation vary according to time. So let’s have a look on them.
In the Biblical period- In case of quarrel, a financial fine was imposed for causing abortion of a woman’s fetus and the penalty of death if the woman’s own death resulted therefrom. In the Code of Hammurapi (no. 209, 210) there is a parallel quoted passages that “if the man strikes a woman with the child in her womb which hurts or cause the death of the child then that man is liable to pay ten shekalim for the loss of a child. If the women die due to the man then he must give the death sentence.
In the Talmudic times- In Talmudic periods, as in ancient Halakhah, abortion was not viewed as a crime unless the fetus was viable. Therefore, even if an infant is one day old only even then the killing of the infant is considered as murder. It is also said by some scholars and rabies that if the person kills a fetus in the women’s womb then he is dishonoring the God who helps it in its generation. Abortion is allowed if the fetus threatens the life of the mother.
As a rule, halacha does not assign relative values to different lives. Therefore, almost all major poskim (Rabbis qualified to decide matters of Jewish law) ban abortion in cases of abnormalities or deformities found in a fetus. Ari Afilalo is a French Moroccan immigrant and a son of a Jewish Moroccan family. He is an activist of West Side Sephardic Synagogue. He lives in NYC and believes in Judaism ideology. To know more about the abortion-related questions, click here.