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February 24, 1989 - Image 10

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-02-24

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

OPINION

0'0' ►

a‘•1

Abortion

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\G
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Oev

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Continued from Page 7

•eall

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head, the baby is considered
ed "rode' or pursuer. A "pur-
born and cannot be killed,
suer" who is causing death to
even to save the mother. Now
another is allowed to be
it is assumed to be a viable
killed.
entity and the Torah does not
In the recently publicized
give one life primacy over
case, a mother lying in a coma
another life.
after an auto accident was
Within the middle two
given an abortion of her 17
stages are an abundant array
week old fetus. Doctors felt
of differing rabbinic opinions.
that this might give her a ten
Some say that for needs such
percent chance of recovery.
as the performance of a com-
The baby was aborted amidst
mandment or for the general
heated controversy of the
health of the mother an abor-
Right to Life group.
tion may be performed. This
Rabbi Feinstein's definition
includes a mother with
was obviously not fulfilled-the
cancer whose life would be
child did not bring direct
lengthened if the baby were
danger to the mother. The
aborted, or a mother whose
primary cause of the mother's
mental condition cannot take
danger was the accident. The
another pregnancy.
etus was not threatening at
Others feel that abortion is
p resent; its removal merely
a form of killing, so that if the
1 ightened the burdens other
baby does not constitue a
s urvival.
danger to the mother's life
Furthermore, the mother's
per se, one may not abort, say
1 ife was in highly doubtful
to help speed the recovery of
c ondition and perhaps not
an ill mother.
a ny more viable than the
Yet, because the fetus is not
f etus.
a complete life, the fetus may
Others who feel that the
be aborted at an early stage
f etus may be aborted if it will
if it may become a danger to
c ause danger to the mother,
the mother. Others, most
a nd certainly those
notably Rabbi Feinstein, feel
a uthorities who permit abo' r-
that only when the baby
ti on in order to improve the
represents certain danger to
h ealth or increase the short
the mother's life, only then
li fe expectancy of the mother
can the baby be aborted.
ould permit this abortion.
Under this opinion early
Certainly those who say
abortion, unless absolutely
th at abortion is prohibited by
necessary at the time, would
th e rabbis only, or that a fetus
apparently not be permitted.
is only a limb of the mother
Certainly in doubtful cases
w ould agree that in this case
this would be forbidden.
th e limb is sacrificed for the
The logic for this position • m other.
works this way: While the
In conclusion, abortion on
baby is not as important as its
de mand is expressly forbid-
mother, that only applies to
de n by_ all Torah authorities
saving the mother before the
ex cept during the first 40
fetus. However, we have no
d Sys.
right to kill the fetus unless
Even then it should only be
the fetus is directly attacking
do ne for great need. After 40
the mother's life. In the
d Sys any danger to the condi-
Halacha this condition is call-
do n of the mother or impedi-

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