Monday, January 24, 2011

Abortion in the Torah

From David Plotz's Blogging the Bible series:
If a man pushes a pregnant woman and she miscarries, but is not otherwise hurt, then the offender pays only a fine to the victim's husband. This has interesting implications for how we think about abortion—in particular about the claim that killing a 17-week-old fetus is the same as killing a 17-year-old. According to Exodus, it's not. As [a reader] writes: "The text seems to clearly state that the destruction of a fetus is not a capital offense. It is a property crime for which monetary compensation is paid."
If only it were so simple.

The verse is question is actually one that is quite difficult to translate, and one that provides some interesting examples of ancient biblical interpretation. You can see my discussion here at Ancient Torah and non Torah True Views on Abortion

Search for more information about abortion at

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