Buddhist view on Abortion

Buddhist view on Abortion
It is quite clear from a variety of sources that abortion has been severely disapproved of in the Buddhist tradition. It is also equally clear that abortion has been tolerated in Buddhist Japan and accommodated under exceptional circumstances by some modern Buddhists in the U.S. The situation is similar to that of Roman Catholicism, where abortion, though disapproved of in the strongest terms by Church authorities, is still practiced by a large number of devoted Catholics and defended by at least a few.
As a Buddhist, I would most likely still be for abortion. Buddhism itself speaks with more than one moral voice on this issue against abortion. The core belief in Buddhism is against abortion, but there are commonly people of this religion that don?t agree with that. For the time in which I will be writing this essay, I am one of those people. Most of my fellow Buddhists believe in the point that you should not be able to choose one life over another. For this reason, abortion cannot be rightly practiced.
Although there are exceptions, Buddhism is still an antiabortion religion, it?s just somewhat lenient. Unlike Roman Catholicism, abortion isn?t just a flat out ?no? in this religion. ?The abortion issue usually hinges on whether the fetus is indeed a life in the relevant sense.? (Michael Barnhart) In its early stages, a fetus is not considered a human yet to Buddhists. It is alive, but not a human being. Therefore in some cases abortion can be appropriate. ?One cannot say that a fertilized egg is a karmically advanced human being just because it is a fertilized egg.? (Barnhart) It hasn?t even taken human form yet, all that?s there is genes. If genes were entirely what made up a person, than abortion would not be acceptable, but that is not the case. In very early stages of a pregnancy, Buddhists don?t think of the fetus as a person yet.
I am a Japanese Buddhist. Where I?m from, Buddhism is a little bit different. A lot of Buddhists consider abortion a moral crime, but in Buddhist metaphysics, the life force comes from an existence which is fluid like water and returns to that existence. The fetus is understood to be in a stage of becoming a discrete thing passing out of the ancient waters. Life that appears in our world or in a woman?s uterus is the formation of a being that was before in the liquid like state of another reality. Children are liquid and only gradually solidify into humans, this process not being realized until after birth. Accordingly, the newborn gradually make the transition from the world of the gods and Buddhas into that of human beings. Most Japanese Buddhists (like myself) believe that you can be cursed by your baby after the abortion procedure. Because of this, they perform a Mizuko Kuyo after an abortion. ?Mizuko? means water child, ?kuyo? means memorial service conducted in most cases by Buddhist priests.Mizuko Kuyos are ritual ceremonies of apology and remembrance for aborted fetuses, or the stillborn and miscarried.
Buddhists are strong believers in Karma, the law of cause and effect. They are often morally opposed to abortion, but also fear what could happen to them if they aborted their babies. The Mizuko Kuyo ceremonies in Japan are held strictly for this reason; that Karma will cause bad things to happen to the aborted fetus?s mother. The Buddhist doctrine does specify that you will bring unsatisfactory conditions into your life if you bring harm to another living being, and no one can argue with that. Since this makes abortion clarified as wrong, bad karma will come to those who receive abortions.
Buddhism doesn?t have a definite opinion towards abortion, but the main belief is that it?s wrong, don?t do it, you?ll have bad karma if you do. As a Buddhist, personally, I am still pro-abortion, but that is somewhat of a rare case for this religion. It?s similar to Roman Catholicism in the way that the religion as a whole is anti-abortion, but that doesn?t mean there aren?t exceptions.

Buddhist view on Abortion 9.3 of 10 on the basis of 3553 Review.