Abortion of illegitimate pregnancy

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Abortion of illegitimate pregnancy

  1. Question:

If a pregnancy takes place due to a forbidden relationship, may one abort the child. I know Judaism is very against abortion but are there any exceptions to this rule and may one entertain abortions in certain cases?



Judaism views abortions very seriously, considering it tantamount to murder. To answer this question definitively we would require a detailed analysis of the case at hand, which would need to include the following details: a) the number of weeks of gestation [pregnancy] and if 40 days have already passed; b) how the pregnancy took place [i.e. rape versus under consent]; c) The level of forbidden relations [incest, adultery, out of wedlock] d) the mental state of the mother to be and if there is any serious risk to her mental or physical state. e) If the mother to be is Jewish or gentile. The above factors would weigh into whether there is room for a Heter to abort the child r”l or if the general very severe law which prohibits abortion would likewise apply in your specific case, as it does in the vast majority of cases. You can turn to the following Orthodox organization which deals with such matters and lends support in various ways https://en.efrat.org.il/  

Sources: See regarding the general prohibition of abortion: Sanhedrin 57b and 72b; Ohalos 7:6; Erechin 7a; Tosafus Sanhedrin 59a, Nidda 44b; Rambam Rotzeiach 1:9; Melachim 9:4; Michaber C.M. 425:2; Smeh C.M. 425:8; Maharit 1:97 and 99; Chavos Yair 31; Sheilas Yaavetz 1:43; Beis Yehuda E.H. 14; Noda Beyehuda Tinyana C.M. 59; Panim Meiros 3:8; Toras Chesed Lublin E.H. 42:31-32; Meiy Nida Nidda ibid; Beis Yitzchak Y.D. 2:162; Peri Hadama 2:143; Rav Poalim E.H. 1:4; Mishpitei Uziel C.M. 3:47; Doveiv Meisharim 1:20; Tzafnas Paneiach 1:59; Igros Moshe C.M. 2:69; Yabia Omer E.H. 4:1; Tzitz Eliezer 8:36; 9:51; 14:100; 20:2; Mishneh Halachos 9:328-330; Koveitz Teshuvos C.M. 1:221; Nishmas Avraham C.M. 425 [summary on all above]; Madanei Shlomo p. 355; Encyclopedia Hilchatit Refuit Hapalah Vol. 2 p. 717, 737, 752-782-817; Igros Moshe C.M. 2:69; See Toras Hayoledes Chapter 66; Many Letters of Rebbe in Shulchan Menachem 6:4, brought in footnote below; See regarding abortion within 40 days of conception: Beis Shlomo C.M. 132; Achiezer 3:65; Toras Chesed E.H. 42:33; Rav Unterman in Noam 6:1; Igros Moshe C.M. 2:69; Teshuvos Vehanhagos 2:735; See regarding even a Jewish fetus that it is permitted, or more lenient within the first 40 days: Chavos Yair 31; Seridei Eish 3:127; Tzafnas Paneiach 1:59; Rav Poalim 4:14; Rav S”ZA, brought in Mishmas Avraham 5:425; See regarding illegitimate pregnancies: Permitted if Biblical Mamzer: Sheilas Yaavetz 1:43; Rav Poalim E.H. 1:14 [unlike Y.D. 4:4]; Mishpitei Uziel C.M. 3:47; Shearim Hametzuyanim Behalacha 184:7 [?]; See Tzitz Eliezer 17:49-12 and 9:51; Forbidden in all cases: Chavos Yair 31; Sefer Chassidim 1918; Yeshuos Malko on Rambam Shabbos chapter 2; Gidulei Tziyon 1:32; Lechem Hapanim Kuntrus Achron 19; Rav Poalim Y.D. 4:4; Igros Moshe C.M. 2:69; Mishneh Halachos 10:303; See Shevet Halevi 5:195

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