Should Engaged Buddhists militate against abortion?

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Aloka
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Re: Should Engaged Buddhists militate against abortion?

Post by Aloka » Tue Jul 19, 2016 7:02 am

Buddha Vacan wrote: I don't see any relativism in this statement. It says no. Period.
Your quotes are for ordained monks , not for laypeople. Monastic rules are not relevant for a pregnant woman.

...and here's something very tragic from India. Should girls in these circumstances be made to keep having any babies which might be the result of such repeated rapes and serious injuries? Of course not
India outrage after gang rape victim assaulted again 'by same men'

There has been outrage in India after a student was allegedly gang-raped by five men who had also raped her three years ago.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-36823572
:anjali:
Last edited by Aloka on Tue Jul 19, 2016 7:20 am, edited 3 times in total.

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tiltbillings
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Re: Should Engaged Buddhists militate against abortion?

Post by tiltbillings » Tue Jul 19, 2016 7:08 am

Buddha Vacana wrote:Why should abortion be the only solution in case of gang rape? Since we are talking about state laws, another solution would be to help the mother take care of the child, or if she really doesn't want him, he could still be taken care of in an orphanage.
Have you ever been raped? Do you know anyone who has been brutally raped? Gang-raped? I do. Quite frankly, you have no idea of what you are talking about -- not a clue.

Aloka wrote:A comment from the Dalai Lama:
“Of course, abortion, from a Buddhist viewpoint, is an act of killing and is negative, generally speaking. But it depends on the circumstances… I think abortion should be approved or disapproved according to each circumstance”
Since we are now into justifying abortion, can anyone explain with quotes in what way this opinion is compatible with the Buddha's teaching? Or is it that we don't care any more about his teaching?
What do know about the nature of kamma? How is kamma defined by the Buddha?
Vinaya wrote:"Bhikkhus, whatever I have not objected to, saying, 'This is not allowable,' if it fits in with what is not allowable, if it goes against what is allowable, that is not allowable for you.
...
"And whatever I have not permitted, saying, 'This is allowable,' if it fits in with what is not allowable, if it goes against what is allowable, that is not allowable for you.
Vinaya wrote:“When a monk is ordained he should not intentionally deprive a living thing of life, even if it is only an ant. Whatever monk deprives a human being of life even down to causing abortion, he becomes not a (true) recluse, not a son of the Sakyans. As a flat stone, broken in half, becomes (something) not to be put together again, even so a monk, having intentionally deprived a human being of life, becomes not a (true) recluse, not a son of the Sakyans. This is a thing not to be done by you as long as life lasts.
I don't see any relativism in this statement. It says no. Period.
This is directed to monastics, not laity. The Buddha did not directly state to the laity that abortion is verboten. In this context the Dalai Lama's response is a reasonable one based upon the notion of kamma, as is plainly evident in what he said.

Also, if you quote a text, you need to give an accurate citation of the text, and link to it is also not a bad idea. Just saying "Vinaya" is not adequate. Any further quotations such as the above, the msg will be removed without comment. See the TOS
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Mr Man
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Re: Should Engaged Buddhists militate against abortion?

Post by Mr Man » Tue Jul 19, 2016 7:25 am

As I see it abortion law is a secular matter and should remain that way, as we live in a mixed society.

The lay precepts, as far as I know, do not concern themselves with counselling for or against abortion.

Giving support to someone who chooses abortion or is considering abortion would seem to me to be the right thing to do.

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tiltbillings
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Re: Should Engaged Buddhists militate against abortion?

Post by tiltbillings » Tue Jul 19, 2016 7:57 am

Mr Man wrote:As I see it abortion law is a secular matter and should remain that way, as we live in a mixed society.

The lay precepts, as far as I know, do not concern themselves with counselling for or against abortion.

Giving support to someone who chooses abortion or is considering abortion would seem to me to be the right thing to do.
"Militate" is a rather unfortunate word, but it certainly describes the attitude and behavior of many of those who are anti-abortionists. What is interesting about many of the anti-abortionists that they are also anti-birth control, and never mind that free and easy access to birth control would significantly lessen the need for abortions. Add to this those anti-abortionists who are against abortions for any reason whatsoever, including the life of the mother being at stake. The anti-abortionism in the USA is driven by fundamentalist religionists, mostly Christian. As I said, I would find it wholly disheartening to see Buddhists join the ranks of the anti-arbortionist movements in US.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Re: Should Engaged Buddhists militate against abortion?

Post by Buddha Vacana » Tue Jul 19, 2016 8:26 am

Aloka wrote:Your quotes are for ordained monks , not for laypeople. Monastic rules are not relevant for a pregnant woman.
Do you mean to say that it wouldn't be unwholesome for pregnant women to kill because they are not monks? Do I understand your argument correctly?

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Re: Should Engaged Buddhists militate against abortion?

Post by tiltbillings » Tue Jul 19, 2016 8:37 am

Buddha Vacana wrote:

As I have already said, there are other solutions to the problem of rape than killing, and both the needs of the mother and the child can be taken care of by the community.
So, what are you doing now to take care of these rape victim women and their children who are fathered by rape and violence in your community? What are you doing now, other than wanting to militate your ideas of how things should be? What are you really doing now that actually helps real people in real life with real pain?
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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tiltbillings
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Re: Should Engaged Buddhists militate against abortion?

Post by tiltbillings » Tue Jul 19, 2016 8:38 am

Buddha Vacana wrote:
Aloka wrote:Your quotes are for ordained monks , not for laypeople. Monastic rules are not relevant for a pregnant woman.
Do you mean to say that it wouldn't be unwholesome for pregnant women to kill because they are not monks? Do I understand your argument correctly?
What did the Dalai Lama say, as quoted above?
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Re: Should Engaged Buddhists militate against abortion?

Post by Buddha Vacana » Tue Jul 19, 2016 8:45 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Buddha Vacana wrote:Why should abortion be the only solution in case of gang rape? Since we are talking about state laws, another solution would be to help the mother take care of the child, or if she really doesn't want him, he could still be taken care of in an orphanage.
Have you ever been raped? Do you know anyone who has been brutally raped? Gang-raped? I do. Quite frankly, you have no idea of what you are talking about -- not a clue.
So what? Does my inexperience in getting raped change anything about whether performing an abortion is wholesome or unwholesome? Why making this kind of ad hominem attacks?

tiltbillings wrote:
Buddha Vacana wrote:Since we are now into justifying abortion, can anyone explain with quotes in what way this opinion is compatible with the Buddha's teaching? Or is it that we don't care any more about his teaching?
What do know about the nature of kamma? How is kamma defined by the Buddha?
Well, killing is unwholesome. That much is defined by the Buddha and that much I know about kamma.
“When a monk is ordained he should not intentionally deprive a living thing of life, even if it is only an ant. Whatever monk deprives a human being of life even down to causing abortion, he becomes not a (true) recluse, not a son of the Sakyans. As a flat stone, broken in half, becomes (something) not to be put together again, even so a monk, having intentionally deprived a human being of life, becomes not a (true) recluse, not a son of the Sakyans. This is a thing not to be done by you as long as life lasts. - Book of the Discipline, I.B. Horner - Vol. I - VI (edited by Ven. Brahmali) p.1523
I don't see any relativism in this statement. It says no. Period.
This is directed to monastics, not laity. The Buddha did not directly state to the laity that abortion is verboten. In this context the Dalai Lama's response is a reasonable one based upon the notion of kamma, as is plainly evident in what he said.
Facepalming. Are you using the argument you just accused me of using two seconds ago? So I return you the question: What do you or the Dalai Lama know about the nature of kamma?
Also, if you quote a text, you need to give an accurate citation of the text, and link to it is also not a bad idea. Just saying "Vinaya" is not adequate. Any further quotations such as the above, the msg will be removed without comment. See the TOS
It comes from Ajahn Brahmali's rework of Horner's translation of the Vinaya. I will edit back the source in the post.

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Re: Should Engaged Buddhists militate against abortion?

Post by Buddha Vacana » Tue Jul 19, 2016 8:49 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Buddha Vacana wrote:As I have already said, there are other solutions to the problem of rape than killing, and both the needs of the mother and the child can be taken care of by the community.
So, what are you doing now to take care of these rape victim women and their children who are fathered by rape and violence in your community? What are you doing now, other than wanting to militate your ideas of how things should be? What are you really doing now that actually helps real people in real life with real pain?
I return you the exact same question, tiltbillings: what are you doing now to take care of these rape victim women and their children who are fathered by rape and violence in your community? What are you doing now, other than wanting to militate your ideas of how things should be?

Ad hominem attacks should be after due warning "removed without comment".

Here is a quote from the TOS
Be agreeable, especially when you disagree. You may wish to respond to something by disagreeing with it. That’s fine: the Buddha said we should praise what should be praised, and criticize what should be criticized. But remember the advice of the Araṇavibhaṅga Sutta: criticize ideas, not people. Please avoid: ...
. Ad hominem attacks (attack directed at the person)
I am not enjoying at all engaging in debate with some of the long term people here who are very much prone to judgemental attitudes and ad hominem attacks, and I am not sure I will do it again.

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tiltbillings
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Re: Should Engaged Buddhists militate against abortion?

Post by tiltbillings » Tue Jul 19, 2016 9:02 am

Buddha Vacana wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Buddha Vacana wrote:Why should abortion be the only solution in case of gang rape? Since we are talking about state laws, another solution would be to help the mother take care of the child, or if she really doesn't want him, he could still be taken care of in an orphanage.
Have you ever been raped? Do you know anyone who has been brutally raped? Gang-raped? I do. Quite frankly, you have no idea of what you are talking about -- not a clue.
So what? Does my inexperience in getting raped change anything about whether performing an abortion is wholesome or unwholesome? Why making this kind of ad hominem attacks?
You do not have to be raped to understand what kind of experience it is and what it does to an individual. You might want to spend some time talking with rape victims.

tiltbillings wrote:
Buddha Vacana wrote:Since we are now into justifying abortion, can anyone explain with quotes in what way this opinion is compatible with the Buddha's teaching? Or is it that we don't care any more about his teaching?
What do know about the nature of kamma? How is kamma defined by the Buddha?
Well, killing is unwholesome. That much is defined by the Buddha and that much I know about kamma.
You might want to learn how the Buddha actually defined kamma.
This is directed to monastics, not laity. The Buddha did not directly state to the laity that abortion is verboten. In this context the Dalai Lama's response is a reasonable one based upon the notion of kamma, as is plainly evident in what he said.
Facepalming. Are you using the argument you just accused me of using two seconds ago? So I return you the question: What do you or the Dalai Lama know about the nature of kamma?
What do we know? It would seem more than do you. I would recommend that you find the Buddha's basic definition of kamma.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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tiltbillings
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Re: Should Engaged Buddhists militate against abortion?

Post by tiltbillings » Tue Jul 19, 2016 9:22 am

Buddha Vacana wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Buddha Vacana wrote:As I have already said, there are other solutions to the problem of rape than killing, and both the needs of the mother and the child can be taken care of by the community.
So, what are you doing now to take care of these rape victim women and their children who are fathered by rape and violence in your community? What are you doing now, other than wanting to militate your ideas of how things should be? What are you really doing now that actually helps real people in real life with real pain?
I return you the exact same question, tiltbillings: what are you doing now to take care of these rape victim women and their children who are fathered by rape and violence in your community? What are you doing now, other than wanting to militate your ideas of how things should be?
First of all, I directly -- hands on -- take care of dying patients and their families. I am not the one here wondering if I should militate my views about abortion in order to talk women out of having abortions. I have seen the damage that can cause. As for what I do, I support the local rape crisis center and Planned Parenthood, and I have been there for my female friends who have been harmed, and who have had to face difficult life decisions.
Ad hominem attacks should be after due warning "removed without comment".
If you think I have committed ad hominem attacks upon you, then use the report function. It will get dealt with.
Here is a quote from the TOS
Be agreeable, especially when you disagree. You may wish to respond to something by disagreeing with it. That’s fine: the Buddha said we should praise what should be praised, and criticize what should be criticized. But remember the advice of the Araṇavibhaṅga Sutta: criticize ideas, not people. Please avoid: ...
. Ad hominem attacks (attack directed at the person)
I am not enjoying at all engaging in debate with some of the long term people here who are very much prone to judgemental attitudes and ad hominem attacks, and I am not sure I will do it again.
I take this subject very seriously based upon direct experiences with women in my life who mean a great deal to me. It is difficult to see naïve points of view put forth about all of this. Maybe you simply need to ask questions and listen to those who older, more experienced rather than telling us what you think is what and how things should be.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Re: Should Engaged Buddhists militate against abortion?

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Tue Jul 19, 2016 11:20 am

Buddha Vacana wrote:I am not enjoying at all engaging in debate with some of the long term people here who are very much prone to judgemental attitudes and ad hominem attacks, and I am not sure I will do it again.
The best policy is to avoid engaging in debate with bigots. Just add them to your foes list to avoid confrontation. They are not worth the time of day. Bigots are incapable of debate in any case, as they are wearing blinkers. I have a dozen or so members on my foes list, but I have plenty of space left for more. Fortunately, most of those on the list don't post here very often.

I have seen so many topics on different forums (or is that fora) subverted by people with another agenda. It is better to avoid these hot-topics altogether or respond only to those who do not engage in bullying tactics.
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Re: Should Engaged Buddhists militate against abortion?

Post by Aloka » Tue Jul 19, 2016 11:30 am

tiltbillings wrote:I take this subject very seriously based upon direct experiences with women in my life who mean a great deal to me. It is difficult to see naïve points of view put forth about all of this. Maybe you simply need to ask questions and listen to those who older, more experienced rather than telling us what you think is what and how things should be.
.

Its very heartening to know that you care about women and have a balanced outlook on this. Thank you, Tilt.

:anjali:

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Re: Should Engaged Buddhists militate against abortion?

Post by chownah » Tue Jul 19, 2016 2:00 pm

chownah wrote:
ihrjordan wrote:
chownah wrote:I do not find the quote you produced in this text which you have provided. Please will you provide the source for the quote :
“A wise man should avoid married life as if it were a burning pit of live coals. From the contact comes sensation, from sensation thirst, from thirst clinging, by ceasing from that, the soul is delivered from all sinful existence.”

– Lord Buddha

chownah
ihrjordan,
Tiltbillings provided a link to a vedic website which contained your quote. Is that where you found it? Can you tell us what school of buddhism presents this quote?.....specifically, is it theravadan?
chownah

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Re: Should Engaged Buddhists militate against abortion?

Post by chownah » Tue Jul 19, 2016 2:07 pm

ihrjordan wrote:Well perhaps it can be okay according to tibetan interpretation and that's fine for those who follow said teachings. But it was my understanding that this was "A Buddhist discussion forum on the Dhamma of the Theravada". I'm sure there are some other religious groups who advocate abortion also, should we appeal to quotes from satanists and wiccans as well?
I am glad to see that you want to maintain the focus on theravada teachings. I hope that this means that you will not rely on satanists, wiccans, vedists, or presbyterians.
chownah

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Re: Should Engaged Buddhists militate against abortion?

Post by Ben » Tue Jul 19, 2016 2:10 pm

chownah wrote:ihrjordan,
Tiltbillings provided a link to a vedic website which contained your quote. Is that where you found it? Can you tell us what school of buddhism presents this quote?.....specifically, is it theravadan?
chownah
No its not, Chownah. Its a new age presentation of "Ayurveda", Traditional Indian folk medicine. It has absolutely nothing to do with Theravada. Its not the first time that ihrjordan has posted material from that website and conflated it as Buddhist in origin.
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Re: Should Engaged Buddhists militate against abortion?

Post by Will » Tue Jul 19, 2016 2:27 pm

Verse 50 of Dhammapada's traditional commentary says, in part:
The woman was too upset by this outburst [against her & Buddha] to concentrate on the
Dhamma. The Buddha advised her to disregard the faults of others and only to
reflect on her own.
So working for saving lives of children unborn is meritorious as long as we do not stigmatize the doctors, nurses & mothers as monsters or fatally flawed in some way that leads us to disregard our own failings. The Dhamma needs to be as central to our lives as possible.
The greatest homage we can pay to truth is to use it. -- Emerson

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tiltbillings
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Re: Should Engaged Buddhists militate against abortion?

Post by tiltbillings » Tue Jul 19, 2016 7:25 pm

chownah,
    • “A wise man should avoid married life as if it were a burning pit of live coals. From the contact comes sensation, from sensation thirst, from thirst clinging, by ceasing from that, the soul is delivered from all sinful existence.”

      – Lord Buddha
chownah wrote: ihrjordan,
Tiltbillings provided a link to a vedic website which contained your quote. Is that where you found it? Can you tell us what school of buddhism presents this quote?.....specifically, is it theravadan?
chownah
The above silly "translation" goes back to the 1880's. Supposedly it comes from the Dhammika Sutta. What the Dhammika Sutta actually says:

  • "A wise man should avoid unchastity as (he would avoid falling into) a pit of glowing charcoal. If unable to lead a celibate life, he should not go to another's wife."
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Re: Should Engaged Buddhists militate against abortion?

Post by santa100 » Wed Jul 20, 2016 12:02 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:The best policy is to avoid engaging in debate with bigots. Just add them to your foes list to avoid confrontation. They are not worth the time of day. Bigots are incapable of debate in any case, as they are wearing blinkers. I have a dozen or so members on my foes list, but I have plenty of space left for more. Fortunately, most of those on the list don't post here very often.

I have seen so many topics on different forums (or is that fora) subverted by people with another agenda. It is better to avoid these hot-topics altogether or respond only to those who do not engage in bullying tactics.
Very wise advice as always Bhante. Anyway, there's still no response to a basic and straightforward question that Buddha Vacana has raised. If we answer this question, (input from our wise forum monastics would be greatly appreciated), then ultimately it's up to the individual to do what they want with the information. It'd think it's a proper approach to share all the needed information and leave it up to the individual to make their own choice. Let's rephrase the question to make it as clear and straightforward as possible based on info. from the last few posts:
If Jane Doe was pregnant (either due to consensual sex or rape), then made up her mind (regardless of whether she's given much thought about the decision or not at all), proceeded, and an abortion procedure has been completed, has Jane Doe generated an unwholesome kamma?
[Notice the question expects a simple yes/no response. It does not ask for the gradation of kammic results for that info. has already been included per the clarifications inside parenthesis.]

1 "yes" response has been provided per the Dalai Lama:
Dalai Lama's quotes wrote:Of course, abortion, from a Buddhist viewpoint, is an act of killing.

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tiltbillings
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Re: Should Engaged Buddhists militate against abortion?

Post by tiltbillings » Wed Jul 20, 2016 12:47 am

santa100 wrote:
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:The best policy is to avoid engaging in debate with bigots. Just add them to your foes list to avoid confrontation. They are not worth the time of day. Bigots are incapable of debate in any case, as they are wearing blinkers. I have a dozen or so members on my foes list, but I have plenty of space left for more. Fortunately, most of those on the list don't post here very often.

I have seen so many topics on different forums (or is that fora) subverted by people with another agenda. It is better to avoid these hot-topics altogether or respond only to those who do not engage in bullying tactics.
Very wise advice as always Bhante. Anyway, there's still no response to a basic and straightforward question that Buddha Vacana has raised. If we answer this question, (input from our wise forum monastics would be greatly appreciated), then ultimately it's up to the individual to do what they want with the information. It'd think it's a proper approach to share all the needed information and leave it up to the individual to make their own choice. Let's rephrase the question to make it as clear and straightforward as possible based on info. from the last few posts:
If Jane Doe was pregnant (either due to consensual sex or rape), then made up her mind (regardless of whether she's given much thought about the decision or not at all), proceeded, and an abortion procedure has been completed, has Jane Doe generated an unwholesome kamma?
[Notice the question expects a simple yes/no response. It does not ask for the gradation of kammic results for that info. has already been included per the clarifications inside parenthesis.]

1 "yes" response has been provided per the Dalai Lama:
Dalai Lama's quotes wrote:Of course, abortion, from a Buddhist viewpoint, is an act of killing.
But your use of the Dalai Lama's words here is very inappropriate -- a misuse of his words, in that you have taken them out of their very important, to the question, context:
    • “Of course, abortion, from a Buddhist viewpoint, is an act of killing and is negative, generally speaking. But it depends on the circumstances… I think abortion should be approved or disapproved according to each circumstance
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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