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Abortion in Jewish Religious Law

in Encyclopaedia of Judaism Online
Author:
Y. Michael Barilan
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(11,272 words)

Abortion is one of the most controversial moral issues of our culture. Possibly it is the only debate in which one side often speaks of the other as “murderers of innocent people,” whereas those labeled as “killers” regard themselves as protectors of human rights and of respect for personal autonomy. Abortion, therefore, poses a serious challenge to all those attempting to practice pluralistic and multicultural ethics. In Judaism, this problem is further accentuated by the fact that in no other questions of medical ethics do contemporary Rabbinic teachings differ so much from each other as well as from teachings of Christian morality.

Encyclopaedia of Judaism Online

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