Abortion

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
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Will
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Re: Abortion

Post by Will » Fri May 17, 2013 2:30 pm

Bakmoon wrote:
Will wrote:As yogurt put it: "trying to form an opinion on abortion in today's world based on the suttas". Very true, but I was not trying to form my opinion or anyone's else's. I simply wanted to get many Theravadin sources on the subject and discuss how abortion was viewed THEN not now.
The Vinaya says that it is a Parajika offense for a monk to be involved in an abortion after the consciousness has manifested itself. That is stated in Parajika 3 in the Sutta Vibhanga.

Ajahn Brahm discusses the issue of abortion in regards to the canonical material in this article which may be helpful:
http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books7/Ajahn ... _Begin.pdf
Yes, the canonical sources quoted are helpful. His analysis seems flawed at this point though:
The ethical quality of karma has much to do with the happiness or suffering that one deliberately inflicts upon another. When the other is incapable of feeling pleasure or pain, such considerations become irrelevant.
That is exactly the rationale that was used to justify animal cruelty, 'animals nervous system are not very sensitive', thus humans can relax and torture freely. Also, I think kamma has more to do with the mind of the actor, not the subject of any action. That is, having in mind any negative feeling from ridding one's (or another's) body of an unwanted creature - the embryo or fetus - is still implanting negative kamma in our mindstream.
Wholesome virtuous behavior progressively leads to the foremost. -- AN 10.1

Zakattack
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Re: Abortion

Post by Zakattack » Fri May 17, 2013 7:40 pm

Will wrote:Yes, the canonical sources quoted are helpful. His analysis seems flawed at this point though:
The ethical quality of karma has much to do with the happiness or suffering that one deliberately inflicts upon another. When the other is incapable of feeling pleasure or pain, such considerations become irrelevant.
That is exactly the rationale that was used to justify animal cruelty, 'animals nervous system are not very sensitive', thus humans can relax and torture freely.

Taken in context (rather than isolated on its own, out of context), Ajahn Brahma's analysis, pertaining to the primitive embryo, is a statement of fact rather than flawed. Ajahn Brahma's analysis is not the rationale that was used to justify animal cruelty because animals have a fully developed nervous system where the embryo does not.
Will wrote:Also, I think kamma has more to do with the mind of the actor, not the subject of any action. That is, having in mind any negative feeling from ridding one's (or another's) body of an unwanted creature - the embryo or fetus - is still implanting negative kamma in our mindstream.
Yes. This consideration is valid. The mind of the actor must bear instinctual negative sorrow & regret that may arise & reconcile these feelings with their intention. Ultimately, Buddha taught kamma is intention (rather than feeling vedana). Women often abort due to believing they are not in a position to take the many year responsibility for a new life, due to personal, financial, social, etc, deficiencies. Their intentions are often based in concern & fear rather than in violence & hate. Attempting to examine their state of intention may be more profitable than rigid moral fundamentalism. Of course, it is ideal a women carry the pregnancy & place the child for adoption but Buddha explained the world is not an 'ideal' place but, instead, a world fraught with ignorance, craving & suffering.

:alien:

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fivebells
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Re: Abortion

Post by fivebells » Fri May 17, 2013 8:58 pm

Will wrote:Sure is difficult to focus on what Buddha taught - evidently.
He taught one thing: suffering and the end of suffering. From that perspective, this thread is very ironic.

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Will
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Re: Abortion

Post by Will » Fri May 17, 2013 9:59 pm

fivebells wrote:
Will wrote:Sure is difficult to focus on what Buddha taught - evidently.
He taught one thing: suffering and the end of suffering. From that perspective, this thread is very ironic.
Which is why I basically gave up on this one and started another 'Abortion Sources' under Classical. It is there I hope to see more of Buddha's teachings related to abortion.
Wholesome virtuous behavior progressively leads to the foremost. -- AN 10.1

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Mr Man
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Re: Abortion

Post by Mr Man » Sat May 18, 2013 8:42 am

Will wrote:
fivebells wrote:
Will wrote:Sure is difficult to focus on what Buddha taught - evidently.
He taught one thing: suffering and the end of suffering. From that perspective, this thread is very ironic.
Which is why I basically gave up on this one and started another 'Abortion Sources' under Classical. It is there I hope to see more of Buddha's teachings related to abortion.
Will, what would you like the Buddha's teachings related to abortion to be?

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Will
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Re: Abortion

Post by Will » Sat May 18, 2013 2:29 pm

Will wrote:
Which is why I basically gave up on this one and started another 'Abortion Sources' under Classical. It is there I hope to see more of Buddha's teachings related to abortion.
Mr Man wrote:Will, what would you like the Buddha's teachings related to abortion to be?
First- in the other thread 'Abortion Sources' - not here.
Second - anything related to the birth process & the termination in the womb of that;
Third - the ethical teachings or kammic results of such.
Wholesome virtuous behavior progressively leads to the foremost. -- AN 10.1

binocular
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Re: Abortion

Post by binocular » Sun May 19, 2013 7:12 pm

Ajahn Brahm wrote:The ethical quality of karma has much to do with the happiness or suffering that one deliberately inflicts upon another. When the other is incapable of feeling pleasure or pain, such considerations become irrelevant.
http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books7/Ajahn ... _Begin.pdf
The language is convulted here. First he talks about happiness and suffering, and then about pleasure and pain.

If he's trying to convey that embryos don't suffer, and that it is therefore not wrong to kill them - then this also suggests that it is not wrong to kill an arahant, since an arahant also doesn't suffer.

!!
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

James Tan
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Abortion and the first precept

Post by James Tan » Fri Jul 06, 2018 10:44 am

Greetings ,

Is there any sutta mention about abortion ?
If the mother and child in a safe and healthy conditions and circumstances , and if one were to abort a fetus or an unborn baby would that constitute breaking the first precept ?
:reading:

justindesilva
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Re: Abortion and the first precept

Post by justindesilva » Fri Jul 06, 2018 3:15 pm

:shrug:
James Tan wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 10:44 am
Greetings ,

Is there any sutta mention about abortion ?
If the mother and child in a safe and healthy conditions and circumstances , and if one were to abort a fetus or an unborn baby would that constitute breaking the first precept ?
The suttavibanga in vinaya pitaka endorse that abortion comes under parajika to be avoided by nuns and monks.
Aiding and abetting abortion is a disqualification for monks and nuns to be in robes.
Further brahmajala sutta mentions taking of life as the 1st precept.

James Tan
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Re: Abortion and the first precept

Post by James Tan » Fri Jul 06, 2018 4:26 pm

justindesilva wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 3:15 pm
:shrug:
James Tan wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 10:44 am
Greetings ,

Is there any sutta mention about abortion ?
If the mother and child in a safe and healthy conditions and circumstances , and if one were to abort a fetus or an unborn baby would that constitute breaking the first precept ?
The suttavibanga in vinaya pitaka endorse that abortion comes under parajika to be avoided by nuns and monks.
Aiding and abetting abortion is a disqualification for monks and nuns to be in robes.
Further brahmajala sutta mentions taking of life as the 1st precept.
Maybe I should ask , when is it a human life consider begins ? Or does a human being life started at the conception ?
:reading:

justindesilva
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Re: Abortion and the first precept

Post by justindesilva » Fri Jul 06, 2018 5:44 pm

James Tan wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 4:26 pm
justindesilva wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 3:15 pm
:shrug:
James Tan wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 10:44 am
Greetings ,

Is there any sutta mention about abortion ?
If the mother and child in a safe and healthy conditions and circumstances , and if one were to abort a fetus or an unborn baby would that constitute breaking the first precept ?
The suttavibanga in vinaya pitaka endorse that abortion comes under parajika to be avoided by nuns and monks.
Aiding and abetting abortion is a disqualification for monks and nuns to be in robes.
Further brahmajala sutta mentions taking of life as the 1st precept.
Maybe I should ask , when is it a human life consider begins ? Or does a human being life started at the conception ?
It is very clear that human life starts at conception.
The zygote starts developing from the inception. The blood starts its work by multiplyinh the 1st cell in to two and do on. As time passes in weeks to months the signs of DO is seen with development of rupa as ears nose eyes etc. ( today it is easily verified through modern gynacology). The perceptions carry on through with the cooperation of the mother.

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Cittasanto
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Re: Abortion and the first precept

Post by Cittasanto » Fri Jul 06, 2018 7:43 pm

Life starts at conception, and abortion is therefore against the first precept of the lay precepts even though I do not know where this is explicitly spelled out in the Suttas. As said the Vinaya does explicitly state this is murder in the parajika rule, and the suttas do state when life begins the vinaya does not always help with looking at lay precepts. However in this case these is enough explanation of the lay rule to equate it exactly with the first parajika.

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Cittasanto
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He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

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salayatananirodha
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Re: Abortion and the first precept

Post by salayatananirodha » Sat Jul 07, 2018 2:21 am

There is this; it's not a sutta, but it's an āgama. https://suttacentral.net/ea21.3/en/huye ... b-pasadika
I don't think abortion is ever referred to in the suttas.
16. 'In what has the world originated?' — so said the Yakkha Hemavata, — 'with what is the world intimate? by what is the world afflicted, after having grasped at what?' (167)

17. 'In six the world has originated, O Hemavata,' — so said Bhagavat, — 'with six it is intimate, by six the world is afflicted, after having grasped at six.' (168)

- Hemavatasutta


links:
https://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/index.htm
http://thaiforestwisdom.org/canonical-texts/
http://seeingthroughthenet.net/
https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html

chownah
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Re: Abortion and the first precept

Post by chownah » Sat Jul 07, 2018 3:12 am

there is another really huge thread on this topic...maybe someone can find it.

Seems like the pali canon says that it before descent into the womb there is nothing to worry about....I'm speaking very loosely here because I think I made some pretty strong points in that other thread and I'd rather cut and paste from it than to go out and find all the references again.

A little help, please, in finding that thread.
chownah

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dylanj
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Re: Abortion and the first precept

Post by dylanj » Sat Jul 07, 2018 3:24 am

save the babies
susukhaṁ vata nibbānaṁ,
sammā­sambud­dha­desitaṁ;
asokaṁ virajaṁ khemaṁ,
yattha dukkhaṁ nirujjhatī


Oh! extinction is so very blissful,
As taught by the One Rightly Self-Awakened:
Sorrowless, stainless, secure;
Where suffering all ceases


etaṁ santaṁ etaṁ paṇītaṁ yadidaṁ sabbasaṅkhārasamatho sabbūpadhipaṭi nissaggo taṇhakkhayo virāgo nirodho nibbānaṁ

This is peaceful, this is excellent, that is: the stilling of all preparations, the relinquishment of all assets, the destruction of craving, detachment, cessation, extinction.

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