Abortion is an emotive and challenging subject for every religion. Buddhists approach the issue through their belief in a continuous cycle of life, death and rebirth.
What is an abortion?
The live birth of a baby
The deliberate prevention of conception
The intentional removal of a foetus from its mother's womb
Up to what stage of the pregnancy can abortion take place according to English law?
What is adoption?
An individual or a couple become a child’s legal parent(s)
A family friend of the mother looks after a child for a while
A relative of the mother looks after a child for a while
For most Buddhists, when does life begin?
Why may a Buddhist believe they are performing a bad action by having an abortion?
If the decision to have the abortion is selfish
Abortions are never accepted in Buddhism
The aborted foetus will never have another opportunity to be born again
What do abortion laws in many Buddhist countries recognise?
Abortion is considered to be a bad action by Buddhists and so is not allowed
Difficult circumstances such as the threat to the life of the physical health of the mother or unborn child, may justify abortion in some cases
Abortion though a difficult decision to make, is allowed
How does meditation help a Buddhist to make a decision about having an abortion?
It gives the Buddhist the time to think clearly about whether abortion is the correct decision to make
It helps the Buddhist to realise that abortion is always wrong
It gives God the opportunity to speak to them and advise them
What can happen to a Buddhist monk for helping a woman have an abortion?
They can be expelled
They can be suspended
They will be forgiven
When might Buddhists consider abortion to be a compassionate action?
If abortion causes less suffering overall
If the woman is happier as a result of the abortion taking place
If the baby was going to affect the social life of the mother