She asked me for advice, but as a buddhist, i dont really know what to say. Buddhism and abortion damien keown palgrave macmillan. Problems at the time of abortion are not very common but are even less likely when the abortion is carried out early in pregnancy and when it is performed by an experienced doctor or nurse. As a buddhist, should i support the choice for an abortion. Buddhists approach the issue through their belief in a continuous cycle of life, death and rebirth.
Buddhism the buddhas way and abortion loss, grief and. Thus, buddhism strongly discourages abortion except in the situation of an immediate threat to the mothers life. Published by brad on november 30, 2015 63 responses. The buddhist ethics approach on abortion in thai society by. The indian term for ethics or morality used in buddhism is sila or sila. In buddhist beliefs, a life begins from the first moment of conception, therefore. The number of induced abortions performed worldwide is very high. The buddha had gone beyond all worldly affairs, but still gave advice on good government. The issues examined include abortion, embryo research and euthanasia. As the consciousness is held to enter the embryo at conception, it is felt to be fully human at that moment. Despite his origin and association, he never resorted to the influence of political power to introduce his teaching, nor allowed his teaching to be misused for gaining.
In part, this is because buddhism is a very old religion, and the concept of human rights is relatively recent. We need a fresh perspective, and i believe the buddhist view of the abortion issue may provide one. Email alerting receive free email alerts when new articles service cite this article. Download book pdf buddhism and abortion pp 199218 cite as. Subscribe to this free journal for more curated articles on this topic. Scholar jeff wilson discusses his research on the history of prolife movements in north america and japan amid a renewed push for restrictions on abortion in the us. Buddhism teaches that morality is something we create for ourselves based purely on what is found to be beneficial rather than objectively right or good. Religion and abortion many religious traditions have taken a stance on abortion, and these stances span a broad spectrum from acceptance to rejection.
Aborting it with intention is the same as killing a human living being. Abortion is an emotive and challenging subject for every religion. In brief, the theravada buddhist texts and probably all other schools believe that an unborn child after conception is a living human being. However, approaching abortion as merely a rights issue doesnt seem to be getting us anywhere. The buddha came from a warrior caste and was naturally brought into association with kings, princes and ministers. The first page of the pdf of this article appears above. In buddhist countries, abortion is not the controversial issue it is in the west. Buddhist temples are often used to store bodies prior to cremation but, with the local crematorium out of order, complaints about the smell. Sila in buddhism is one of three sections of the noble eightfold path, and is a code of conduct that embraces a commitment to harmony and selfrestraint with.
The basic premise of the traditional understanding of abortion in buddhism is that reincarnation is a discrete event which happens at the time of conception. As the con sciousness is held to enter the embryo at conception, it is felt to be fully human at that moment. A buddhist view of abortion buddhist publication society. To this end he helps himself to the dubious assumption that any such proposed buddhist middle way must be distinctly or uniquely buddhist page 202 before going on to make some conceptual heavy weather of what the phrase middle way might meanhere surely just a. Abortion, has been practiced by societies for centuries, and within each society has been.
As buddhist scholar and activist thich nhat hanh says. July 1998 namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammasambuddhassa homage to him, the exalted, the worthy, the fully enlightened one. What the buddha said about abortion essence of buddhism. The act of abortion becomes a grave sin and a complicated problem in hinduism because of its belief in karma and rebirth. The buddha and his teachings venerable narada mahathera reprinted for free distribution by the corporate body of the buddha educational foundation taipei, taiwan. For one thing, it puts the question when does life begin. Abortion, buddha and the dalai lama america magazine. Abortions make the souls choice of parents very complicated. Though buddhism has clearly a prolife position on abortion, the final decision should be left to. First, the buddhist view of abortion does not include a concept of rights, either a right to life or a right to ones own body. Both the mother and whoever performs the abortion generate negative karma as. The actual line is, the monastic code recognizes human life as starting at. He was very clear about this in the pali suttas the teachings of the elders, the mahayana sutras the great vehicle and in the vinaya the rules of disicipline for monks and nuns that abortion is the taking of a life killing.
Buddhism abortion, buddhism and abortion, dr anthony. Abortion is one of the most controversial moral issues for modern times. This booklet aims to assist new buddhist students who are unfamiliar with some of the pali words often used in the study of buddhism. The buddhas way and abortion loss, grief and resolution a lecture by yvonne rand, a zen buddhist priest and meditation teacher in the san francisco bay area. There is no single buddhist view concerning abortion, although it is generally regarded. Planned parenthood, abortion and buddhism hardcore zen. This text approaches abortion from the discipline of buddhist studies.
Buddhist ethics are traditionally based on what buddhists view as the enlightened perspective of the buddha, or other enlightened beings such as bodhisattvas. Arguments have been made for or against abortion by many groups from religious to feminists. There is no single buddhist view concerning abortion, although it is generally regarded negatively. All and all abortion has been very controversial in many peoples mind. Buddhism and bioethics damien keown palgrave macmillan. Then you can start reading kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer no kindle device required. There is comparatively little public debate surrounding it, and, in marked contrast to the voluminous multidisciplinary literature available in the west, little has been published on the subject from a buddhist. Why would a country strongly influenced by buddhism s reverence for life allow legalized, widely used abortion.
The dalai lama has said that abortion is negative, but there are exceptions. Wikipedia seems to be paraphrasing a line that appears early in the chapter on abortion and contraception. There is a tendency to treat religious condemnations of abortion as. The entire book can be downloaded as a pdf for free. He said, i think abortion should be approved or disapproved according to each circumstance. Im concerned that it violates the first precept and will have negative karmic consequences, but in my heart, it feels more complicated than that. Each abortion takes life in a new direction and interferes with the destiny of innumerable individuals. Buddhism and abortion buddhism oxford bibliographies. This paper examines the abortion issue from a buddhist perspective. The buddhist belief in rebirth introduces a new dimension to the abortion debate. Adopting a buddhist ritual to mourn miscarriage, abortion more americans are using mizuko kuyo to grieve the loss of a child, whether it be from a miscarriage or an abortion. There is considerable controversy about the moral status of abortion in buddhist ethics, with the majority of writers taking a prolife position. Attitudes about abortion have given birth to heartbreaking polarization and violence.
Laws and views on abortion vary greatly in theravada buddhist nations. Attitudes and laws in thailand are generally more liberal than in sri lanka. Enter your mobile number or email address below and well send you a link to download the free kindle app. There are various buddhists views on abortion but this article takes a more comprehensive or global view of the issue in perspective. It also serves as an introduction to buddhism for ethicists. Buddhist views on abortion about buddhist views on abortion.
Pdf buddhism, as with most other religions and spiritual traditions around the world, do not generally approve of killing. My job is not to make decisions or advice for others, but to give a pure classical buddhist explanation on abortion. There can be no standard outside ourselves and no one to hold us to it. If you like this free lesson, we hope you will check out our complete gcse religious studies units this fully resourced lesson is for those teaching buddhism as a comparative religion at gcse level. Abhidhamma studies researches in buddhist psychology nyanaponika thera a manual of abhidhamma abhidhammattha sangaha narada maha thera buddha abhidhamma ultimate science dr. Inducing or otherwise causing an abortion is regarded as a serious matter in the monastic rules. In the traditional view, whether or not an embryo or fetus can survive on its own, it is a sentient being whose spiritual progress is thwarted by an abortion. Buddhism is an ancient tradition which over the centuries has refined its distinctive beliefs and values in the course of a long interaction with the major cultures of asia. Drawing on ancient and modern sources, the book shows how buddhist ethical principles can be applied consistently to a range of. A friend of mine is considering getting an abortion. As buddhism continues to engage the attention of the west, the time is now opportune for its views on abortion to be heard.
Buddhism and the morality of abortion urban dharma. According to buddhist teachings, liferebirthbegins at conception. A selection of pali words for daily reflection 39 pages 402 kb free. My blog post about abortion abortion and buddhism 6163 to donate by paypal my patreon page s. Pdf buddhism, as with most other religions and spiritual traditions around the. Of course, abortion, from a buddhist viewpoint, is an act of killing and is negative, generally speaking. Global impact of abortion essays abortion is a very sensitive subject no matter where you go in the world.323 1357 1599 792 1413 1146 863 288 407 271 691 347 28 176 359 200 936 1249 211 1636 217 596 35 903 1495 1306 171 556 1069 455 846 890