santa100 wrote: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?
If she subscribes to the view that a fetus doesn't become a living being until some later stage of pregnancy, then she does not make the unwholesome kamma of the intentional killing of a human being. If she thinks that it is a living being, then she makes the unwholesome kamma of intentional killing.
There are many circumstances in which individuals think that killing is justifiable: in warfare, euthanasia (mercy killing), capital punishment, for the sake of food, etc.
Anyone is enititled to their personal opinion regarding that, including the Dalai Lama, but no text that I know of says that it is not the unwholesome kamma of killing if there are mitigating circumstances.
One can find sources such as The Story of Prince Bodhi
indicating that the consequences of killing are different depending on one's view, being more severe if one's view is wrong and if that killing is done without compunction, than if one's view is right and the killing is done reluctantly due to force of circumstances.
May I remind people that the topic of this thread is not "Is abortion the unwholesome kamma of killing a living-being," which has already been debated more than enough elsewhere, but "Should Engaged Buddhists militate against abortion?"
The question is somewhat loaded due to the choice of wording implying that engaged Buddhists should be militant in their opposition to it. That is not the position of most well-informed Buddhists.
All beings are the owners of their own kamma and will inherit the results. Thus one should maintain equanimity regarding the actions of others, while guarding one's own actions carefully, as Will said.
Will wrote: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.
I think that answers the question in full. Engaged Buddhists should work to discourage abortions, but not in a militant way. If they do anything to encourage
abortions, then they will share in the unwholesome kamma of killing a living being.
1. One does it oneself
2. One urges another to do it
3. One condones it
4. One speaks in praise of it.