Author Topic: Thoughts on abortion, religion, and morality  (Read 9804 times)

Offline shaulyaakov

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Re: Thoughts on abortion, religion, and morality
« Reply #60 on: May 21, 2019, 09:45:35 AM »
To summarize my thoughts from the other thread:

Facts that aren't really up to debate:
1. Halacha aligns much more closely to the pro-life position than the pro-choice position. There is no major posek who allows abortions for any reason at any time.
2. There are more exceptions brought down by major poskim such as Rav Emden and the Tzeitz Eliezer than certain pro-life laws would automatically allow for.
3. The Agudah has encouraged religious exceptions to restrictive abortion laws in the past - so they have clearly determined laws to be too restrictive in the past as written.

Things that are debated:
1. Whether the government should or should not be in the business of attempting to regulate such a debated choice. Is this objective morality such as murder, or is it something that should be left up to people to discuss with their rabbi, priest, imam, ethicist, family, etc?
2. Whether frum Jews should want a pro-life position pushed, even if it means that religious Christian principles become the backbone of US law.
3. Whether having a law that is in line with Halacha in 99% of cases is good, even if it will create burdens for the 1% of cases where Halacha either mandates or allows for abortions (in consult with poskim).

Offline Yonah

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Re: Thoughts on abortion, religion, and morality
« Reply #61 on: May 21, 2019, 10:05:27 AM »

Let's get this out of the way. When the mother's life is at risk, it isn't comparable. Halacha says that the child is viewed as a rodef.
Let me ask you this - why does a woman bench gomel after childbirth? Being pregnant is a sakanah. While we can easily make the argument that it's not the same sakanah it once was, clearly our poskim agree that it still remains a sakana, otherwise wouldn't they have stopped women from needing gomel? While a couple who gets pregnant is willingly taking on the sakana to be mikayim pru v'rivu, the rape or incest victim is not. That alone should be enough for Rodeph.

You should be commended for your compassionate feelings toward the woman that underwent the harrowing experience. The wickedness of the pervert, her doctor visits, maternity clothes, the trauma. There's no doubt that the perp will be greatly punished in Gehennom and probably this world as well. But the Halacha revolves around the baby, not the mother.

With my limited couple of years of Beis Medrash, I don't think I am knowledgeable to take anyone on, and it must be that my understanding of the torah is completely wrong to the point of apikorsis. I mean, I must completely misunderstand that killing a nefel is patur avel ussur, and that using it as the basis to end a life-threatening situation for a rape victim is unacceptable. I must also misunderstand how killing a baby in the womb by attacking the mother doesn't result in a death penalty, but rather a monetary penalty instead - how is that? I must be completely mistaken, based on the approach you are taking, every abortion doctor should be chayav misah?!?

So forgive me if I don't think that halacha favors the living over the not yet alive or those not yet in chezkas kayama. Even if I agree with your assessment that halacha favors the baby over the mother, your statement above suggests that there is at least one situation where the mother comes first - so how about we say we're arguing over the bar for what makes a baby a rodeph (I have no problem agreeing that my bar is lower).

You mentioned above that you are a frum man with children. I doubt you would be a good judge because you are very partial. You need to take a step back.
This makes no sense? Are you saying that I can't be partial because I have children? Not a day goes by where I don't realize how fortunate and blessed I am. I have plenty of friends who've had a harder path to parenthood, and some are still waiting for a yeshua. I have friends who were blessed that hashem gave doctors the science to help them out, and others who've gone the adoption route.

... and some of my friends with adopted children, worry about how they will ultimately marry off their children. It's amazing that we in Jewish society doubly exclude those who can't have children - they feel excluded from communal life because they weren't blessed with children, and when they adopt, they live with the constant anxiety of having their child blend in - even if it's not obvious to see that the child is adopted.

So now, we have a woman, who is the victim of a crime. Just like the person who's car is broken into, or who's purse is stolen - she isn't to blame. And while we may suggest that any pregnancy is a blessing - this one is clearly not.

So what step back do I need to take? I agree that abortion isn't the answer, but argue that we need to allow it in at least 2 specific cases - life of the mother, and rape.


Offline Yonah

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Re: Thoughts on abortion, religion, and morality
« Reply #62 on: May 21, 2019, 10:07:11 AM »
To summarize my thoughts from the other thread:
Facts that aren't really up to debate:
1. Halacha aligns much more closely to the pro-life position than the pro-choice position. There is no major posek who allows abortions for any reason at any time.
I assume you mean - without any specific reason - i.e. there is no posek who has given blanket approval for abortion period.

Offline shaulyaakov

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Re: Thoughts on abortion, religion, and morality
« Reply #63 on: May 21, 2019, 10:11:55 AM »
I assume you mean - without any specific reason - i.e. there is no posek who has given blanket approval for abortion period.

Yes - hence the "any time any reason" comment. Pro-choice would say abortion for any reason is allowed (I realize there are many in the pro-choice camp who would object after viability, but the reason for the choice at the beginning of a pregnancy is generally not relevant).

Offline ADG

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Re: Thoughts on abortion, religion, and morality
« Reply #64 on: May 21, 2019, 10:22:13 AM »

3. Whether having a law that is in line with Halacha in 99% of cases is good, even if it will create burdens for the 1% of cases where Halacha either mandates or allows for abortions (in consult with poskim).

I think this hits the nail on the head. The pro-life would restrict these 1% cases. Without laws restricting abortions you are not forced to have one. But with them you wouldn't be able to have one if you need one. Even if the number is only 1% those cases would be imposed while the others wouldnt.


Offline Shkop

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Re: Thoughts on abortion, religion, and morality
« Reply #65 on: May 21, 2019, 11:36:08 AM »
Let me ask you this - why does a woman bench gomel after childbirth? Being pregnant is a sakanah. While we can easily make the argument that it's not the same sakanah it once was, clearly our poskim agree that it still remains a sakana, otherwise wouldn't they have stopped women from needing gomel? While a couple who gets pregnant is willingly taking on the sakana to be mikayim pru v'rivu, the rape or incest victim is not. That alone should be enough for Rodeph.
Every time you scare me with your logic, I think it can’t get worse, but it does. What does any of this have to do with rodeph? Rodeph is a case where we know that the mother’s life is in danger. A pregnancy that does not endanger the mother’s life has an inherent risk, but not similar to rodeph at all.

Think of it like driving a vehicle. Is there an inherent risk every time you take the wheel? Yes. Does that mean that every time you take the wheel someone is trying to crash into you? No.


So what step back do I need to take? I agree that abortion isn't the answer, but argue that we need to allow it in at least 2 specific cases - life of the mother, and rape.
OK so then we should be on board in the vast majority of cases - not like you posit above that most abortions are due to medical complexities.

I would imagine that most of the over 50 million babies that have been slain in the U.S. since 1973 do not have any justification whatsoever. The fact that you seem to have been viewing the cruelty of abortion through the lens of an exception case in your opinion, does not have any bearing on the rule because exceptions don’t prove rules.

Imagine what will happen when despicable people like Ruth Bader Ginsburg ym”sh – the Supreme Court’s most ardent protector of abortion rights - finally kicks the bucket. I imagine millions of unborn children who were denied the right to breathe because of people like Ginsburg clawing into her cursed soul and and ripping it apart for eternity, again and again and again...
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Offline shaulyaakov

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Re: Thoughts on abortion, religion, and morality
« Reply #66 on: May 21, 2019, 11:40:31 AM »
Imagine what will happen when despicable people like Ruth Bader Ginsburg ym”sh – the Supreme Court’s most ardent protector of abortion rights - finally kicks the bucket. I imagine millions of unborn children who were denied the right to breathe because of people like Ginsburg clawing into her cursed soul and and ripping it apart for eternity, again and again and again...

That escalated quickly. Believing the government doesn't have the right to regulate abortion =/= killing babies. Individual women made those choices. US government policies have enabled all sorts of atrocities around the world throughout history - that doesn't make a single judge or politician responsible.

Offline Shkop

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Re: Thoughts on abortion, religion, and morality
« Reply #67 on: May 21, 2019, 11:44:52 AM »
Torah is against the free choice of pro-choice movement, but Torah does allow abortions.
 
Exceptions don't prove rules.

The fact that you know of a halachic case dictates that we should sit back and ignore the fact that more than 50 million babies have been aborted in the United States since the Roe decision in 1973?
Don't you think we should try to stop this holocaust? No, let's ignore it because Torah allows it in an uncommon case such as when the mother's life is in danger...makes perfect sense....
As to the Catholic infiltration - it is only in the last ten years or so that I've heard frum people being so anti-abortion. In years past, everyone I knew was pragmatic and believed abortions should be available for when necessary. I think with the same swing to the right of religion in general, Catholic puritanism has infiltrated in a much more mainstream way.
I guess based on what you've heard, but that isn't the truth at all. The frum world has always abhorred it.
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Offline shaulyaakov

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Re: Thoughts on abortion, religion, and morality
« Reply #68 on: May 21, 2019, 11:45:58 AM »
Lets assume for a moment that private citizens' use of guns have cost more lives than they have saved.

Would you say that a judge who has defended an interpretation of the 2nd amendment that makes it easy to get a gun is culpable for the murders that took place with those guns?

Offline Shkop

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Re: Thoughts on abortion, religion, and morality
« Reply #69 on: May 21, 2019, 11:52:03 AM »
That escalated quickly. Believing the government doesn't have the right to regulate abortion =/= killing babies. Individual women made those choices. US government policies have enabled all sorts of atrocities around the world throughout history - that doesn't make a single judge or politician responsible.
um, it actually does. Individual women made those choices only because government policies have been enacted, therefore judges and politicians are hugely responsible. Basic logic my friend.
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Offline shaulyaakov

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Re: Thoughts on abortion, religion, and morality
« Reply #70 on: May 21, 2019, 11:55:22 AM »
um, it actually does. Individual women made those choices only because government policies have been enacted, therefore judges and politicians are hugely responsible. Basic logic my friend.

So I guess you would say nobody does drugs since there are laws against it? You deny a basic truth that if people want an abortion, they are going to get one anyway in many cases. So all the laws do is make them more dangerous.

Online sguitarist18

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Re: Thoughts on abortion, religion, and morality
« Reply #71 on: May 21, 2019, 12:02:30 PM »
Let me ask you this - why does a woman bench gomel after childbirth? Being pregnant is a sakanah. While we can easily make the argument that it's not the same sakanah it once was, clearly our poskim agree that it still remains a sakana, otherwise wouldn't they have stopped women from needing gomel? While a couple who gets pregnant is willingly taking on the sakana to be mikayim pru v'rivu, the rape or incest victim is not. That alone should be enough for Rodeph.

If I put someone on an airplane, does that make me a rodef?

Offline Shkop

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Re: Thoughts on abortion, religion, and morality
« Reply #72 on: May 21, 2019, 12:13:09 PM »
Lets assume for a moment that private citizens' use of guns have cost more lives than they have saved.

Would you say that a judge who has defended an interpretation of the 2nd amendment that makes it easy to get a gun is culpable for the murders that took place with those guns?
You keep on making blanket statements, comparisons and assumptions that are illogical.

Maybe someone against guns will argue that they cost more lives than saved. But pro-gun people argue that it promotes safety. (I would say that Israel is a good argument for that.) Now abortion is completely incomparable. Pro abortion people are not denying that they are ending lives. They say that they have the right to do it. And that "right" is strictly a result of the law of the land, which has resulted in over 50 million murders. So, no, one can not be compared to the next.
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Offline Shkop

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Re: Thoughts on abortion, religion, and morality
« Reply #73 on: May 21, 2019, 12:24:53 PM »
So I guess you would say nobody does drugs since there are laws against it?
Again with the lack of sense.

You are arguing that since people do drugs which is against the law, therefore even if heroin was legal people would do it just as much. Totally false. If Heroin was legal it would be much more common. 

You deny a basic truth that if people want an abortion, they are going to get one anyway in many cases.
nonsensical once again
Yes, I deny your "basic truth" because it is a basic falsity. If abortion was illegal it would be far less common, even if some people will do it anyway. 



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Offline shaulyaakov

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Re: Thoughts on abortion, religion, and morality
« Reply #74 on: May 21, 2019, 12:33:29 PM »
Again with the lack of sense.

You are arguing that since people do drugs which is against the law, therefore even if heroin was legal people would do it just as much. Totally false. If Heroin was legal it would be much more common. 
nonsensical once again
Yes, I deny your "basic truth" because it is a basic falsity. If abortion was illegal it would be far less common, even if some people will do it anyway.
If the government is serious about ending abortion, they will need to pony up a lot of money to actually fund delivery, foster placement, food etc. Because the majority of people who seek elective abortions and would also not be able to go overseas to get one are poorer women who don't have the money to pay for a child (which is k e of the main reasons surveys show that they seek one).