Project Genesis

Childbearing & Fertility


Pro-Choice and Belief in G-d

Question: Recently my granddaughter and wife were talking about the right to abortion and how they were afraid it would be overturned by a more conservative court. My wife yelled, “It’s my body and they have no right to tell me what I can do!” In agreement, my granddaughter stated that one of her professors assured her that Roe v. Wade could not be overturned. Can you believe in abortion on demand and still be Jewish? I don’t see how you can reconcile abortion and G-d – even under the worst of circumstances, the unborn child is innocent!

Answer: The question of abortion is a question of when life begins. In other words, the issue is not whether the unborn child innocent, but whether or not it is a person.

Even if we were to assume, “No, the unborn is not a person,” we still have a further problem with abortion: Would it be moral for a woman to cut off her own foot? Does she have a “right” to do so just because it’s “her” body? In fact, Judaism teaches that our bodies do not belong to us, rather to God – we are allowed to use them during this lifetime, but we are entrusted to care for them.

So, while I sympathize with your mother-in-law’s fear of someone restricting her freedom, I respectfully disagree with her notion of rights.

However, to answer your specific question: regardless of a Jew’s belief, a Jew remains a Jew – even if she believes in something un-Jewish, such as the Messiah-ship of Jesus, the indifference of God, or abortion on demand.

Best Regards,
Rabbi Azriel Schreiber

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