Shafran on Grossman

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3 Responses

  1. Neviah T. says:

    I would add that (according to my understanding) even the Roman Catholic Church permits removal of the fetus in the case of an ectopic pregnancy. Indeed, I would be interested in finding out precisely which pro-life organizations would support a ban on “all abortions”, including saving the life of the mother. To be fair, Pope John Paul II beatified a woman (Gianna Molla) who died in pregnancy to save the life of her child. But the point still stands that the RCC, a most vigorous opponent of abortion in our country, still countenances such a procedure — and to suggest that it and other groups would martyr women in such a way is just pure hogwash.

  2. DovBear says:

    I liked what Rabbi Shafran wrote, and his position is not far from my own (though I expect, following the Tzizt Eliezer, I’d permit abortions he’d outlaw)

    Incidently, to paraphrase Rabbi Shafran “And so, to raise the specter, as Yakov Menken does, that if ‘the pro-abortion lobby’ has its way, ‘Peter Singer’s view would carry the day, and infanticide would become permitted,’ is to traffic not in facts but in fear-mongering.”

  3. Yaakov Menken says:


    The difference is kemizrach mimaarav, like east from west, and not merely in the political sense.

    A specter is a phantom. It does not really exist.

    Rabbi Grossman refers to “the anti-abortion lobby, whose ultimate goal is to make all abortions illegal, regardless of maternal need.” Rabbi Shafran is willing to concede that “such abortion absolutists may indeed exist,” but I would ask how much of “the anti-abortion lobby” actually shares that feeling. I’m doing some research on that. She also claims that “some in the Orthodox community have supported efforts to ban abortion,” which is factually incorrect. We know that. It’s a specter.

    Peter Singer, on the other hand, is flesh and blood. Not only does he have an endowed seat at Princeton from which to promote his novel version of “ethics,” but his ideas are gaining traction — see the front page of the Bnai Brith Jewish Monthly. I’m hoping to blog about that when I find time, but he’s no specter at all. And the legitimization of his ideas must be considered, if we claim that society “protects the freedom of religious conscience for minorities” even when doing something that we would call murder.

    Seventy years ago, abortion on demand was no less inconceivable than the adoption of Singer’s ideas is to you today.

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