Sacred Rights: The Case for Contraception and Abortion in by Daniel C. Maguire

By Daniel C. Maguire

This e-book provides the paintings of the ''Sacred offerings Initiative'' of the non secular session on inhabitants, Reproductive health and wellbeing, and Ethics. the aim of this Packard and Ford origin supported initiative is to aim to alter foreign discourse on family members making plans and to rescue this debate from superficial sloganeering by way of drawing at the ethical shops of the world's significant and indigenous religions. in lots of of the world's religions there's a restrictive and pro-natalist view on kin making plans, and this can be one valid analyzing of these spiritual traditions. because the essays during this quantity exhibit, even though, this isn't the one valid or orthodox view. those authors convey that the paramaters of orthodoxy are wider and gentler than that, and that the good spiritual traditions are wiser and extra variegated and nuanced than an easy repetition of the main conservative perspectives may recommend. This subject matter is conducted in essays on all the world's significant non secular traditions, written by way of student practitioners of these faiths

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Additional info for Sacred Rights: The Case for Contraception and Abortion in World Religions

Sample text

If he divorced her, she is permitted to marry someone else. And the second husband is allowed to remain with her for ten years.... A man is commanded to procreate but not a woman. R. Yohanan b. " What is occurring here? The biblical text sets the standard for the halachic requirement that a person must have children. There is debate among the sages of the Mishnah about whether a girl child will "count," and this is debated. After these children are born, the text implies, a man's sexual relations 32 SACRED RIGHTS with his wife, clearly required in other places, may continue without procreative intent, which implies further that birth control can be used.

20 R. Bebai recited before R. Nahman: Three [categories of] women use a tnokh in marital intercourse: a minor, a pregnant woman, and a nursing mother. The minor, because she might become pregnant and die. A pregnant woman, because she might cause her fetus to become a sandal [flattened or crushed by a second pregnancy]. A nursing woman because she might have to wean her child prematurely and the child would die. What is occurring in this text? 21 It may be worn during coitus, or it might be used after as a kind of absorbent—these details are left unanswered.

What is at stake is the personhood of the woman, not the fetus, and we are given the most extreme account to prove this point. Rashi, commenting on Arakhin and on Sanhedrin J2b, argues that as long as the fetus has not emerged into the light of the world, it is not a nefesh. This argument continues in later responsa. 30 An early modern response notes a broad definition of how the law can be interpreted. Jacob Emden, writing in 1770, suggests that we might permit an abortion in the case of a woman who has gotten pregnant out of wedlock, or in an adulterous union she now regrets.

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