Monday, May 11, 2009

Abortion in Israel; frum pregnancies in America

Another execllent post by A Mother in Israel: Abortion in the Religious Zionist Community

Under discussion, is an article by Yifat Erlich in Makor Rishon which profiles frum couples who aborted pregnancies because of health problems with the fetus. These types of abortions are legal in Israel, and also permitted by halacha (according to most).

In her post, MII also tells a story about Rabbi Shlomo Aviner which helps explain why it is essential that abortion remain legal in the United States.

According to MII, Rabbi Aviner promised to "stand beside" older women who chose to become pregnant. This was widely understood to mean that he would permit abortions in the event that any of the health defects common to late pregnancies (for instance Downs Syndrome) were discovered.

The Rabbi's reasoning seems simple: Allow frum women to undergo halachicly permitted abortion, and more frum older women will become pregnant. More frum pregnancies mean more frum Jews.

If abortion is outlawed in the US, these mutar abortions will no longer be permitted here. If older Jewish women are denied the right to undergo these halachicly permitted abortions, many won't risk becoming pregnant at all. Thus, a total ban on abortion will interfere with Jewish families, in a way that is contrary to halacha.

Any frum Jewish woman's decision on abortion should remain between her and her doctor, her husband, and her rabbi. If the RW Christians win the abortion debate, this decision will instead be made by the state, and the result, as Rabbi Aviner feared, might well be fewer frum pregnancies.


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