Project Genesis

Childbearing & Fertility


Abortion for Rape Victim

Question: Under what conditions could a teenage victim of a rape be allowed an abortion?

Answer: Thank you for your question. According to many Halachic [i.e. Jewish Law] experts, in a situation where a pregnancy poses an extreme hardship on the life of the mother, it would be permitted for her to undergo an abortion within 40 days of the conception. This renders the “moral dilemma” of the issue of a teenage rape victim moot from the perspective of Jewish law, as this gives more than enough of a window of an opportunity to deal with this issue – assuming that the victim has confided in a responsible adult. After this time, the child may only be aborted if, in the opinion of medical professionals, it presents a direct danger to the mother’s life.

Take care,

Rabbi Aaron Tendler

[Editor – See here for more posts on abortion.]

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