Legal Rights, Moral Wrongs

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6 Responses

  1. Micha says:

    All I know is, we had triplets born at 27 weeks gestation. (BH they’re as healthy as anyone else, and today are celebrating turning 11.) Would it have been legal to abort a fetus a day younger than they were at birth? What about a full-birth-abortion the day after they were born?

    Poseqim are more split about whether abortion is murder than when it’s prohibited, and when permitted.

    But how does one pass an abortion law that complies to the morality that seems to emerge from studying the halakhah? Can we risk even a single mother that halakhah would require we save to prevent millions of abortions that most poseqim do NOT hold is necessarily murder? How does one codify “speak to your rav” as law?

  2. Dan says:

    Just so people understand the significance of the number of abortions in the US every year, there are approximately 4 million births a year. That means over 20% of pregnancies in this country are terminated via abortion, a horrific moral statement!

  3. Toby Katz says:

    Micha you don’t have to worry about that. If Roe vs Wade were overturned, the abortion issue would go to the fifty state legislatures, where it belongs. There, poliitical compromises would be hammered out between the All and the Nothing parties, and in between you can be certain that abortion to save the mother’s life would be legal and readily available in all fifty states.

    Why can you be so certain? Because over 90% of the American people, including the overwhelming majority of devout Christians and pro-lifers, favor allowing abortion to save the mother’s life. Most if not all states would also permit abortion in a range of of other circumstances: mother’s health, mother’s mental health, rape, incest, birth defects and so on. In practice it might always be possible to find a doctor to sign that an abortion is “medically” necessary, and it might be almost as easy as it is today to have an abortion. But the law would at least state–in principle–that abortion is not to be taken lightly and is not the mere removal of a tumor.

  4. Micha says:

    Toby, You two-dimensionalize the pesaq and therefore assume we and the Xian right agree.

    For example, I know the parties in a she’eilah where the Satmar Rav zt”l was asked on behalf of a rape victim asked the Satmar Rav zt”l about getting an abortion. It was before day 40. The Satmar Rav permitted. Lehavdil elef alfei havdalos, Billy Graham or the pope would not. To them, there is no line between 40 days and after, there is no measure of insanity that is considered no longer having a meaningful life.

  5. Neviah T. says:

    Toby Katz’s point about Roe v. Wade kicking the issue back to the states still stands. The day after Roe gets overturned, abortion will be just as legal in NY as it was the day before. And that is how the debate should be conducted – by letting those who want to live in abortion-free states have that option, and those who want to live in abortion states likewise having the option. And additionally, if we live in a state where we don’t like the rules and we don’t want to move, then give us the freedom to persuade our neighbors that our position is correct. To decide in a voting booth or a state legislature whether abortion stay or goes – now that’s giving the people choice….

  6. Ori Pomerantz says:

    Toby Katz and Neviah,

    The day after Roe vs. Wade got overturned abortion will go back to state courts and state legistlatures. However, it won’t necessarily stay there. If a state were to pass a law legalizing the murder of babies until they are three month old under certain circumstances, we can assume that law would be struck down by the supreme court. For many US anti-abortionists, a fetus a day before birth does not have a different status from a day old baby.

    Of course, in cases where the pregnancy risks the mother’s life, there are other extreme options possible even if abortion was completely illegal in the US. Last time I checked, it was still possible to drive to Canada.


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