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August 02, 1985 - Image 16

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1985-08-02

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

2104 Nu
st 2, 1985





Keeping up with the
news these days can
be a mountainous
task, But a
subscription to the
'most Ntwo,
can increase your
knowledge — of issues
concerning our Jewish
community — and
lilt your spirit,
For subscriptions
Call 3546060

Un-Silent Scream

Continued from preceding page

group in Judaism agrees un-
equivocally that when the life
of the mother is at stake, or
even threatened, the fetus not
only can, but must be aborted,
The life of the mother has un•
disputed priority in Jewish
thought," When the fetus is
seen as "an aggressor,"
actively threatening the
mother's life, it may be killed
in self-defense, This is a view
whose scriptural basic is un•
disputed by all Jewish de•
nominations, but which is at
variance with the opinions of
most non-Jewish religious
leaders of the anti-abortion
movement, They claim that all
abortion is murder, or grant
the mother, at best, equal
right, with the fetus,
Nevertheless, abortion is
not taken lightly by any
branch of Judaism and most
Orthodox Jews would echo
Rabbi Shalom Carney's view,
stated in his Tradition, that
"For me, abortion on demand
is prohibited because
Halachah says so; and that's
"It is strictly prohibited,
That is the accepted opinion of
all those who follow Jewish
Law," agrees Rabbi Silber-
berg, as uncompromisingly as
the Agudath Harabanim
(Union of Orthodox Rabbis of
U,S,A, and Canada), which
has declared that "every act of
abortion is an act of murder —
unless the life of the mother is
at stake,"
elected with rabbinical con.
Imitation and consent, is 'ac-
ceptable, Reasons of "con-
venience," often taken to in-
clude economic and social con-
siderations, are not, The fetus,
particularly after the 40th day
of conception, has rights as a
separate living entity, oven
though they are in some cir-
cumstances subordinate to the
mother's, A woman's "right to
privacy" is in most Orthodox
opinion, insufficient reason for
As Rabbi David Rleich says
in his book, Wudaism and lig
all% "Judaism teaches that
man does net enjoy urge,

striated proprietary rights
with regard to his own body,
much lass with regard to the

body of an unborn child;"
()ray areas, however, basin

to show in Orthodox rabbinic
intarpratstion of just what

gonstitutos "therapotic atier-
tien ," 401w/44440w to life
is taken to Mal* psychologl -

The controversial Dr, Bernard Nathanson uses a sonogram In the
movie "The Silent Scream" as part of his case against current

abortion laws,

ported, for example, by a put
history of mental instability
before it can be considered
grounds for an abortion, The
feet that a pregnancy was the
result of incest or rape, or was

likely to produce an abnormal
child, would not, says Rabbi
811berberg, automatically
guarantee rabbinic approval
of abortion, If such circum•
stances threatened the
mother's sanity "certain rah-

bis would permit it," he says,
if there was very strong proof
of the mother's fragile mental

health," Deformity in itself is
not, he says, sufficient reason
for abortion, This endorses the
opinion of Immanuel
Jakobowity„ chief rabbi of the
.United Kingdom, who asserts
that "all human life is sacred,
its sanctity unaffected by

mental or physical impair-
Some Orthodox rabbis have
interpreted "therapeutic; abor-
tion" more liberally, and Om-

servative rabbis certainly
take a more lenient view, If it
is known the tepregnene will
result in baby withMore
mity yr di4011§0, such as Tay
4chs (which kilisafter short
lifetime of painful degenera-
tion), rabbinical permission
for abortion will AIWA 9lor ,
tainly be given by a kronor rva-
tive rabbi.
"it is We wrong)** in the life
of a family; it causes such

mental ansuish," says
Dpvid Nekion
Simko, "that it woo &lb
cilia well as johysigul
nilaly bee found as a bags fur
the threat, suicidal mental emnwnlosis
and abortion; ,
Ow likely to result from
pregnancy must he Won- position,
A944940, is
ine, sup- 'rooted in 1, 49 hake
Ad con-

skiers "reasons of convenience

inadmiseable," rabbinical ap-
proval of abortion is usually
given in circumstances whom
the well-being, not Just the
life, of the mother is
threatened, "There are more
possibilities for abortion,"
says Rabbi Nelson, citing
cases of rape and incest as in
stances where the damage to
the well•being of the mother,
and the family as a whole,
would certainly constitute
admiseable groundi,
He is not in favor of Con ,

stitutional change, It's work ,

ing pretty well as it is," 1w
says, 1 den 't trust the agenda
of the right-44We movement ,"
Thep sentiments are also es
pressed by the Women's
Leaps for Conservative

'Judaism, which has urged its
members to "op se any at-
tempts to limit
guarantees of individual
rights!" helleiltig that abut
Uon s1 14 lagally nvaii
able but ethically restricted ,"
Reform Adoisin goes aysn
further, taking a pro-choice
stance — not to be conlotrtoi
as advocacy of indiscriminate

Their,* means rasponsibil

ilf," says Jiablil Slainier, "On
Wet oda/441ns, the
;bolo mamma is consiste
with Ow iisformStloulf,"
question is I

flon rorsimat gm;

In the

Wong religiowi v it 49 ►
n$, Itis fatiekje ADOis there.
fore 4i wisOls, 't illkae
mord* no of

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