Author Topic: Thoughts on abortion, religion, and morality  (Read 22985 times)

Offline Shkop

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Re: Thoughts on abortion, religion, and morality
« Reply #20 on: May 17, 2019, 02:30:45 PM »

Which means that even in these cases, where there is a clear - Mother's life or Baby's life - situation, a doctor wouldn't be allowed to perform those abortions, at the very least, I find this reprehensible.

It seems that you misunderstood some of what she was saying. That said, which ban wouldn't allow it to save the life of the mother? The Alabama law actually does allow for it.

By the way, reading through the The Alabama Human Life Protection Act, I came across this fascinating piece:

(i) It is estimated that 6,000,000 Jewish people were murdered in German concentration camps during World War II; 3,000,000 people were executed by Joseph Stalin's regime in Soviet gulags; 2,500,000 people were murdered during the Chinese "Great Leap Forward" in 1958; 1,500,000 to 3,000,000 people were murdered by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia during the 1970s; and approximately 1,000,000 people were murdered during the Rwandan genocide in 1994. All of these are widely acknowledged to have been crimes against humanity. By comparison, more than 50 million babies have been aborted in the United States since the Roe decision in 1973, more than three times the number who were killed in German death camps, Chinese purges, Stalin's gulags, Cambodian killing fields, and the Rwandan genocide combined.
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Offline shwarmabob

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Re: Thoughts on abortion, religion, and morality
« Reply #21 on: May 17, 2019, 04:00:16 PM »
It seems that you misunderstood some of what she was saying. That said, which ban wouldn't allow it to save the life of the mother? The Alabama law actually does allow for it.

By the way, reading through the The Alabama Human Life Protection Act, I came across this fascinating piece:

(i) It is estimated that 6,000,000 Jewish people were murdered in German concentration camps during World War II; 3,000,000 people were executed by Joseph Stalin's regime in Soviet gulags; 2,500,000 people were murdered during the Chinese "Great Leap Forward" in 1958; 1,500,000 to 3,000,000 people were murdered by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia during the 1970s; and approximately 1,000,000 people were murdered during the Rwandan genocide in 1994. All of these are widely acknowledged to have been crimes against humanity. By comparison, more than 50 million babies have been aborted in the United States since the Roe decision in 1973, more than three times the number who were killed in German death camps, Chinese purges, Stalin's gulags, Cambodian killing fields, and the Rwandan genocide combined.
These numbers are totally incorrect. During Mao at least 50 million people died

Offline Yonah

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Re: Thoughts on abortion, religion, and morality
« Reply #22 on: May 17, 2019, 05:06:31 PM »
Of course in a case where the mothers life is in danger it should be allowed, please don't equate that with rape or incest.

I was treating them as two different cases - both of which, IMHO, should warrant someone being allowed to have an abortion, at least we agree on one thing.

While rape is terrible, the child did nothing wrong to deserve to be murdered because it's father is a rapist.

But it's okay to abort a fetus that was the result of incest?

When someone is assaulted, they pay the physical and psychological price of the attack. Hopefully their attacker gets justice, and hopefully the assault isn't so bad that they miss too much work and/or have too long to heal.

When a woman chooses to engage in relations with a man, and she gets pregnant as a result, she understands that the pregnancy is an act of a voluntary action on her part. As much as you and I would argue what her rights are, we'd definitely agree that she got pregnant because of the risks associated with an action she chose to do.

Now we get to rape. A woman was randomly attacked and discovers she's pregnant with the child of the attacker - who literally FORCED HIMSELF ON HER!!!! She had no desire for this or any of its consequences. I'm sure she wants to move on. I'm sure she wants to start healing.

Now, she is being forced to carry this child to term - even if she gives it up for adoption:

- Every day she is reminded that this evil man's dirty act is growing inside her
- Every day she is reminded how she was violated
- Every time someone congratulates her she would cringe inside
- She now has to miss work for doctors appointments (assuming she can afford them)
- She now may have other health conditions - however temporary - arise because of this. (swollen feet, gestational diabetes, etc.)
- If she is on bedrest, she potentially loses wages and work
- She's limited in her ability to travel

So because of the 'rights' of this unborn fetus. You are forcing her to be victimized 10 times over.


I just did a quick google search, the first result was from buzzfeed Also keep in mind that rape, incest, and mother's life constitute less than 1% of all abortions.

The frequency is irrelevant, my point is that these are legitimate cases which need to have exemptions.



Offline zh cohen

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Re: Thoughts on abortion, religion, and morality
« Reply #23 on: May 17, 2019, 05:40:09 PM »

But it's okay to abort a fetus that was the result of incest?


What does singling out incest, in a separate category from rape, add to this conversation? I'm assuming you are referring to a specific category of rape, namely rape, statutory or otherwise, by a relative. So why mention that category explicitly?

To the heart of the question, no-one is rejecting the idea that a woman carrying her rapist's baby brings unimaginable pain to the woman. Pro-life people just as much sympathy for the woman who is going through that. We just believe that two wrongs don't make a right and that abortion is wrong.

Offline Yonah

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Re: Thoughts on abortion, religion, and morality
« Reply #24 on: May 20, 2019, 09:38:31 AM »
What does singling out incest, in a separate category from rape, add to this conversation? I'm assuming you are referring to a specific category of rape, namely rape, statutory or otherwise, by a relative. So why mention that category explicitly?
Two reasons I did that - 1) the OP (Avromie7) put them together earlier is his post, and then only mentioned rape later on - I imagine he meant to include them together, but I was curious in case he didn't. 2) I imagine that many people arguing with me here are (at least in part) religiously motivated. If that's the case, I am curious if their opinion would differ in the pregnancy in question resulted from one of the relationships that one is liable for Kares in the torah (i.e. most incestuous relationships) vs one that is merely treated as a lav (i.e. a rapist raping a single woman).

To the heart of the question, no-one is rejecting the idea that a woman carrying her rapist's baby brings unimaginable pain to the woman. Pro-life people just as much sympathy for the woman who is going through that. We just believe that two wrongs don't make a right and that abortion is wrong.

While I understand the pro-life point of view, and agree with many aspects of it, this is one piece that I cannot comprehend people supporting. Just like you,  I believe that there are two wrongs here - the first is the rape itself, and the second forcing the woman to bear the fruit of this evil attack. It's bad enough that this woman needs to bear the scars of the attack itself - why do we doubly punish her by forcing the illegal fruits of the attack on her?

I would hope than many rabbonim, if presented this situation, would find an opportunity to provide such a victim with a heter to have an abortion.

I was very tempted to go down the route of asking all of you who support rape victims being forced to bear their rapists babies to imagine it was your wife/sister/daughter - but I will go one step further - talk to a rape victim. I'm sure if you did, you'd see it from a different perspective.

Offline Shkop

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Re: Thoughts on abortion, religion, and morality
« Reply #25 on: May 20, 2019, 10:19:53 AM »

While I understand the pro-life point of view, and agree with many aspects of it, this is one piece that I cannot comprehend people supporting. Just like you,  I believe that there are two wrongs here - the first is the rape itself, and the second forcing the woman to bear the fruit of this evil attack. It's bad enough that this woman needs to bear the scars of the attack itself - why do we doubly punish her by forcing the illegal fruits of the attack on her?
It boggles my mind that someone would advocate for abortion the way you do. And some of your other arguments up-thread are even more ludicrous. For example:

- She now has to miss work for doctors appointments (assuming she can afford them)
- If she is on bedrest, she potentially loses wages and work
- She's limited in her ability to travel

Are you serious? What in the world does this have to do with slaying a baby? And why not extend your arguments to their logical conclusion? Say the mother gives birth. According to your twisted logic, we should kill that baby. Because, like you keep on saying, we must factor in the pain this child will bring the mother.

But we wouldn't murder the infant because the mother's horrific experience has nothing to do with the life of the child. Imaging that it was your relative is totally irrelevant.

You keep on saying we need to focus on the mother's experience. Actually it is exactly the other way around. While we recognize that she underwent a horrific, life-altering experience, we need to ignore that right now so that we don't destroy in innocent life.
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Offline zh cohen

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Re: Thoughts on abortion, religion, and morality
« Reply #26 on: May 20, 2019, 10:42:36 AM »

Just like you,  I believe that there are two wrongs here - the first is the rape itself, and the second forcing the woman to bear the fruit of this evil attack. It's bad enough that this woman needs to bear the scars of the attack itself - why do we doubly punish her by forcing the illegal fruits of the attack on her?

I would hope than many rabbonim, if presented this situation, would find an opportunity to provide such a victim with a heter to have an abortion.

It is not us forcing this baby on her, its the rapist (and G-d). I don't think you "fix" a horrible situation by doing another horrible thing to an innocent baby.

Offline mmgfarb

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Re: Thoughts on abortion, religion, and morality
« Reply #27 on: May 20, 2019, 12:40:40 PM »
Regardless I don't like the idea of analysing laws based on logic. Laws never were logic it's always feelings. If someone feels that it's wrong it doesn't have to make sense and it doesn't have to be based on a religious idea. Same goes for the other side.
This makes absolutely no sense at all.
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Offline Yonah

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Re: Thoughts on abortion, religion, and morality
« Reply #28 on: May 20, 2019, 12:55:48 PM »
It boggles my mind that someone would advocate for abortion the way you do. And some of your other arguments up-thread are even more ludicrous. For example:

- She now has to miss work for doctors appointments (assuming she can afford them)
- If she is on bedrest, she potentially loses wages and work
- She's limited in her ability to travel

Are you serious? What in the world does this have to do with slaying a baby?
I am very serious. A woman gets raped, a few weeks later she realizes that she is pregnant, she wants to have an abortion. The government says she can't. Let's say she's an hourly worker at Walmart - every missed shift, is missed $$$ for her. Maybe she is working hourly and doesn't have healthcare - who's paying for her doctor visits? Maternity clothes? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think that this law allows you to sue the rapist for that (even if we assume he can pay it). So she had the consequence of being a random victim of a moron who couldn't control his urges, and now shes forced to continually pay? Seriously? You are one cruel and unusual person.

And why not extend your arguments to their logical conclusion? Say the mother gives birth. According to your twisted logic, we should kill that baby. Because, like you keep on saying, we must factor in the pain this child will bring the mother.
If she opts to keep the baby until birth - one of two things would happen - a) She's decided that despite all of the trauma, she wants to keep the child b) She decides that she doesn't believe in abortion, but gives the child up. Either way, if she carries the baby to term - that was her choice. We're not talking about killing a baby. We're talking about killing a fetus that isn't viable outside the womb, because the pregnancy is the result of a crime.


But we wouldn't murder the infant because the mother's horrific experience has nothing to do with the life of the child.
It has everything to do with the life of the fetus (that isn't yet a child). The child is the fruit of the woman's horrific experience, and a constant reminder of it.

Imaging that it was your relative is totally irrelevant.
It is only relevant to help put it into perspective. G-d forbid it was your mother, sister, wife, or daughter - and she decided to have an abortion - would you ostracize her? Would you throw her out of your house? Would you excommunicate her? Would you condemn her to a life of having to explain why her one child looks nothing like her or her husband?

You keep on saying we need to focus on the mother's experience. Actually it is exactly the other way around. While we recognize that she underwent a horrific, life-altering experience, we need to ignore that right now so that we don't destroy in innocent life.
So by this logic, if a doctor tells a pregnant woman that she her pregnancy needs to be terminate because there is a chance that she might die, you'd would ignore her horrific situation and not destroy innocent life, even if it means she might die?





Offline Yonah

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Re: Thoughts on abortion, religion, and morality
« Reply #29 on: May 20, 2019, 01:06:42 PM »
It is not us forcing this baby on her, its the rapist (and G-d). I don't think you "fix" a horrible situation by doing another horrible thing to an innocent baby.


Yes - hashem wants her to be raped. I'm sure she deserves it. In as much as the rapist forced the baby on her, he had no right to do so, and she didn't choose to have "relations" with him. We're now putting her in a situation where she will incur (as I have laid out) monetary loss, physical and emotional pain, and potentially endanger her life - none of which she wants to do.

By not allowing her to have an exemption for Rape, it is, in fact "us" who are forcing this baby on her - beyond her attackers intentions.

Offline Definitions

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Re: Thoughts on abortion, religion, and morality
« Reply #30 on: May 20, 2019, 02:09:21 PM »
This makes absolutely no sense at all.
In which scenario?

Offline Shkop

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Re: Thoughts on abortion, religion, and morality
« Reply #31 on: May 20, 2019, 03:51:42 PM »

So by this logic, if a doctor tells a pregnant woman that she her pregnancy needs to be terminate because there is a chance that she might die, you'd would ignore her horrific situation and not destroy innocent life, even if it means she might die?


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.

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. 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.
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Offline Shkop

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Re: Thoughts on abortion, religion, and morality
« Reply #32 on: May 20, 2019, 03:55:42 PM »
In which scenario?

Pretty much every scenario.

Where did you get the idea that laws are about feelings and not logic? It's very much the polar opposite. Laws are typically logical constructs.
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Re: Thoughts on abortion, religion, and morality
« Reply #33 on: May 20, 2019, 04:02:46 PM »
Pretty much every scenario.

Where did you get the idea that laws are about feelings and not logic? It's very much the polar opposite. Laws are typically logical constructs.
Let's take stealing for example. Stealing won't ruin the world if the person doesn't care that someone stole. So why should  the stealer have to not steal more than the other person has to work on accepting his situation at all times?

(Basically it's the concept of ownership that I'm asking on)

The answer is because you FEEL that there's a concept of ownership that entitles you to something that no one else has a right to.

Offline zh cohen

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Re: Thoughts on abortion, religion, and morality
« Reply #34 on: May 20, 2019, 04:33:23 PM »

Yes - hashem wants her to be raped. I'm sure she deserves it.

That is a despicable misstatment of my views and I would have expected better from you.

What if boils down to is that you believe
We're not talking about killing a baby. We're talking about killing a fetus that isn't viable outside the womb,

And therefore it is ok to kill him or her if the inconvenience or suffering of the mother is enough, and Torah says that it is murder (although on a somewhat lesser level) and therefore the only reason it can be allowed is to save a life.

The difference between your view and that of Planned Parenthood's is just a question of degree.

And to your suggestion that I speak to a rape survivor, I recommend that you speak to an abortion survivor or someone who was concieved by rape.

Offline avromie7

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Re: Thoughts on abortion, religion, and morality
« Reply #35 on: May 20, 2019, 04:37:08 PM »
Let's take stealing for example. Stealing won't ruin the world if the person doesn't care that someone stole. So why should  the stealer have to not steal more than the other person has to work on accepting his situation at all times?

(Basically it's the concept of ownership that I'm asking on)

The answer is because you FEEL that there's a concept of ownership that entitles you to something that no one else has a right to.
-1 feeling would be I want it so I take it, logic dictates that I own something and if you take it you are a thief.
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Offline ADG

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Re: Thoughts on abortion, religion, and morality
« Reply #36 on: May 20, 2019, 04:47:50 PM »
I hear the arguments and I cannot make up my mind because each side is so extreme.

On a side note I am dumbfounded how this has become such a important topic in american politics and culture. Americans are usually surrounded by lowest cultural objectives and here we are discussing an extremely difficult and nuanced debate on morality/ethics/governance.

My personal position is (still formulating but) I do believe in the sanctity of life but its probably not the government's place to protect that because it is a religious matter.  If someone made a horrible mistake, I think they should be able to get abortion early on- not late in the game. (pretty much on the side of roe I guess)


Offline Shkop

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Re: Thoughts on abortion, religion, and morality
« Reply #37 on: May 20, 2019, 04:51:48 PM »
Let's take stealing for example. Stealing won't ruin the world if the person doesn't care that someone stole. So why should  the stealer have to not steal more than the other person has to work on accepting his situation at all times?

(Basically it's the concept of ownership that I'm asking on)

The answer is because you FEEL that there's a concept of ownership that entitles you to something that no one else has a right to.

Interesting point.
I think that what you are discussing isn't law. It's a philosophical discussion on the nature of things. In this case, the concept of ownership.
Law dictates that you must give back what you stole, which is logical (once you accept the concept of ownership).

However, even regarding the concept of ownership itself, it may not be so clear cut. Who says that "ownership" is predicated on a feeling of entitlement? Perhaps the feeling of entitlement is a result of the concept of ownership...
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Re: Thoughts on abortion, religion, and morality
« Reply #38 on: May 20, 2019, 04:52:39 PM »
But the Halacha revolves around the baby, not the mother.
I take very strong exception to this line. How can you not take the mother into account?
Feelings don't care about your facts

Offline Shkop

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Re: Thoughts on abortion, religion, and morality
« Reply #39 on: May 20, 2019, 05:06:22 PM »
I hear the arguments and I cannot make up my mind because each side is so extreme.

My personal position is (still formulating but) I do believe in the sanctity of life but its probably not the government's place to protect that because it is a religious matter.
Religious matter? Would you argue that the government should look away in a case where a man shoots his neighbor because it is a religious matter? After all, the sin of murder is based on the concept that man is created in G-d's image. Not even a liberal would argue that. In fact, one of the 7 Laws of Noah is to establish court systems, so they better not look away.
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