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I Have Enough Blessings. Should I Abort?

I Have Enough Blessings. Should I Abort?

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Question:

I recently found out I was about four weeks pregnant and I do not want to have another child. I am mentally, physically and emotionally worn out. I am choosing to end this early pregnancy because I am quite certain I do not want any more children. I feel complete, and grateful for the beautiful family I do have. I made the choice to have one more, I had that one, and that was final. I stick by that decision. Am I sinning by ending this pregnancy in the early stages according to Jewish law? Does G‑d forgive this?

Response:

Please excuse my delay in responding. Your question is urgent, but it is difficult to respond. Having partnered with my wife in bringing eight beautiful children into the world, I can well feel the struggle you are going through now.

And yet, I know that there is nothing more precious to me in all the world than each of those children. Each is a jewel for which I would scale mountains and fight armies to rescue; each one makes my entire life worth living. I watch each one grow with delight and pride, especially in that first, most miraculous year. Yes, there are storms to weather, sleepless nights and the agony that comes along with every ecstasy. But G‑d has not given me anything more precious than the privilege to bring these people I love so much into the world.

You made a decision, and G‑d knows your pain and fatigue even more than you yourself. And yet, as much as He loves and cares for you—and truly because of that love—He has seen fit to grant you another precious treasure. If it is worth such pain, it must be a precious package indeed.

You need to get outside help. It doesn't matter what the cost—that's His business. He gives you the children, He will have to pay those bills. But don't destroy this neshama granted into your care, for its sake and for your own. Instead, cherish it, cherish the privilege you are given. You will never look back, and in years from now, you will have the nachas of holding the children of that child on your lap. Live with that vision, and take life with a few more ounces of joy.

If there is any other way I can be of help, please write.

--

-- Rabbi Tzvi Freeman

-- Chabad.org Interactivity-With-People Team

All names of persons and locations or other identifying features referenced in these questions have been omitted or changed to preserve the anonymity of the questioners.
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Mel Commerce Twp May 30, 2017

Not to be rude, but getting pregnant is not like catching a cold. There are ways to prevent it. You say you have other children, so then it shouldn't be a mystery to know how to avoid having another. Reply

Anonymous September 29, 2017
in response to Mel:

Your reply is judgemental and unwarranted. She like many other women may not be able to use birth control for medical reasons.
I speak from experience in this matter.
Please use courtesy when speaking it goes along way. And yes I know this may sound judgemental as well. Reply

JDV July 7, 2016

Abortion Regardless of your perspective, abortion is a very serious decision and has long term consequences. Young girls need to remember this. Reply

Anonymous November 17, 2015

Daughter wants abortion Well, Tzvi has said it all so well. but he is a man. so here is a woman with this viewpoint: I myself had an abortion years ago. I was told at the time it was ok by my Rabbi & my dr.
I have paid an enormous price. and now i am 66 and have no children or grandchildren. i got married after that abortion but altho we tried i never got pregnant again.
I share this with you. if it helps you, fine, if it doesn,t I am sorry.
One aspect that helps me is that the boyfriend who was the father did threaten "I will cut it out of you if you don't have it"
Since he knew thought people, i was afraid. So perhaps I am forgiven by G-d because it did save my life.
I will pray for you my dear Reply

Naomi Toronto, Ontario May 11, 2014

Last Minute Soul Entry - Malka It has always been my understanding that Jewish law forbids taking the life of a fetus, unless there is a threat to the mother's life. I am Jewish, and my father was a Jewish doctor, and this was well-known in the medical field. I think that Malka was "misinformed" at some point, and that Malka is looking for somebody to back-up this misinformation.

When we engage in certain behavioiur, the ramifications are fully understood, regardless of our intention at the time. A potential result of sexual conduct is pregnancy. As adults, whether male or female, we must assume responsibility for our actions. Ending the life of a fetus because the pregnancy was unplanned, although the action creating the fetus was intentional, does NOT sound reasonable. Embrace the pregnancy and life created, and know that you are truly blessed. Reply

Michael Greensboro November 27, 2013

"You made a decision,...." In my opinion this article could have just printed these words, and it still would have been sufficient. In the final analysis, even if we say that the baby is only a life outside of the womb, you should not be able to abort, because you made an individual decision to become pregnant. Even if you did not intend to become pregnant you know that that action, which you engaged in had the strong possibility to make you pregnant. It is about responsibility, and you facing the consequences of your actions. This is what free will is all about, otherwise, what is the point of living if we can just "abort" the consequences of our actions, whether they are bad or not. Reply

Rabbi Tzvi Freeman January 2, 2013

Re: last minute soul entry Jewish law forbids taking the life of a fetus, unless there is a definite threat to the mother's life. The mother's life then takes precedent, since she is already a person and the fetus is potential person. Once the head of the baby is out, then they are both on equal ground. Reply

Malka Israel January 2, 2013

last minute soul entry I didn't ask for an opinion on my query just that as I understood things halachically there is no objection to abortion in Judaism. Please can I have a halachic answer not an insult to the question.
It is also allowed to ask questions in Judaism.
Regards Reply

zs brooklyn January 1, 2013

Attention Malka As far as I know, your thinking is erroneous and Judaism does not allow abortions from the beginning. Even the Jew's body is holy of holies, in a way more than his/her neshama as will be revealed by the righteous Messiah, may he come speedily in our days! Reply

Malka Benya Rekhasim December 31, 2012

Should I abort? I understood that Judaism is not against abortion and that is because the soul comes down at the last moment and not before. Please clarify this?

Reply

Anonymous Ambler, PA July 8, 2012

A non-answer This woman, under great stress, asked a question about Jewish law on abortion. The answer she got was -don't do it.

That non-answer shows lack of compassion and respect for this woman. She wanted an answer and got a lecture. Reply

Olivia Sarida El Dorado , Kansas February 26, 2012

Blessing or Abortion I know these were posted sometime ago but I would like to know the situation of life now for these mothers. I am particularly interested in an update on the mother that decided to keep her blessing and see how the Adonai would bless them. I pray they are all well and prospering. I have my own story of two children I had, then a decision made that I have regretted from the instant it was carried out and then a child I lost that I wanted dearly, then I could not have anymore. And now I am old and the two children I had found out about the one I aborted and want nothing to do with me, and my grandchildren call me names and disrespect me terribly, talking down to me and shaming me even more than I am already. If G-d allows a life to be created then He has a purpose for that life. Even if it is Hitler or any other evil in this world, I believe He is in ultimate control and has in mind the big picture and knows what has to happen to bring about His will for mankind. Reply

Kayla Reina Miriam Boston, MA April 11, 2011

Be Compassionate woah...there is way too much animalistic strength in these comments. What happened to compassion and love for your fellow Jew? They're not just theories, you know, Reply

Anonymous Atlantic City, NJ via chabadac.com August 13, 2010

Abortion God did NOT give you the child. You got it by having sex, probably unprotected. Do what you think is right for yourself, your husband and the living & breathing children you already have.
I have NO children, and thank God every day for that fact.
A loved and wanted child is a gift to the parents and the world. An unwanted child is a curse to all.
Remember, Hitler's mother went to a doctor and asked him to abort the pregnancy. The doctor refused, and look what the world got. Reply

Anonymous Canada July 11, 2009

Good Answer If God gave you a child, He will give you the strength and love you will need to raise that child. You may have to humble yourself and admit your need to friends and family that you do need help. I have to confess, that my wife's parents helped out more times than I'd like to admit.
But if you are so desperate, please, there are loving couples that would adopt. Don't ever think that your children belong to you,
God is just borrowing them to you for awhile. Enjoy them. Reply

Tzvi Freeman June 28, 2009

Helping JB Contact me through Ask The Rabbi on this site and I will provide information on how you may be of assistance. Reply

Anonymous westlake village, ca June 25, 2009

want to jump on the helping bandwagon great idea, how can we be informed if an effort to help JB is organized? Reply

Anonymous June 25, 2009

Helping JB I have a pushke that is almost full that may have JB's name on it. I'm with Judy on this. Rabbi, can we get this lady some help while keeping her ID confidential? Reply

Judy Resnick Far Rockaway, NY June 24, 2009

Can We Help JB? I was very much moved by the posting from JB in Thornhill, Ontario, Canada. Is there any way we readers from Chabad in Cyberspace can help out this overwhelmed mom with food, money or anything? Rabbi Tzvi Freeman - while respecting JB's dignity and anonymity, can we somehow collect Tzedaka for her quietly? Could we possibly partner with Chabad of Canada to assist JB and her children at this very difficult time? I don't want to just offer comforting words, I'd like to do something down to earth and practical to help her out, like sending cases of diapers and formula, or assisting her in paying the bills. Reply

Awake When the Sun is Up Wasilla, AK May 17, 2009

JB-- many blessings to you! JB-- many blessings to you, but this time in the form of sustenance and shelter as you nurture your little one to be and the ones who are here!

Know that someone in Alaska is praying for you, especially when the Land of the Midnight Sun keeps her from sleeping and all she can do is lay in bed and pray ;) If you are up late at night worrying, know that I am probably thinking nourishing thoughts to you! Reply

c May 16, 2009

if we were already married, we'd take the kid.... Reply

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