Monday, August 17, 2009

Should single Jewish women have babies?

Rabbi Menachem Burstein, head of the Jewish fertility organization Puah Institute says:
"...there is not one rabbinical religious authority in the world allowing a single woman to give birth."
Hear that single women? Sorry, but those of you who are also pregnant must abort your fetuses at once! It may sound harsh, but Rabbi Menachem Burstein knows best, and he holds its forbidden by Jewish law for you to give birth.

Okay, okay. I kid. Probably what RMB means is that single Jewish women shouldn't run around getting pregnant, in particular by artificial means. Unfortunately, this isn't what he said. And worse, in the same article, Rabbi B is quoted arguing against artificial procedures with this bit of insanity:
"Judaism does not permit one person's happiness at the expense of another, and it has been proven that a child born to a single woman from in vitro insemination suffers greatly."
I don't know how this can be true in every single case, nor do I think its nice for the rabbi to attempt to make his case via an absurd exaggeration ("suffers greatly"). My bet is he's referring to some trite study that shows children are best off when they have two active parents. True as that might be (and I do think its true) I don't think it works as an argument against allowing single women to experience motherhood if this is what they wish to experience.

Ynet: Rabbi Burstein: Single women not allowed to procreate

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