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Q: What are Sikhism's beliefs on Abortion?

A: Guru Granth Sahib Ji has given us a thought process using which we can determine right or wrongness of the moral issues. Abortion is a complex issue involving numerous possible solutions to numerous situations. Life is sacred. Gurbani is clear that taking a life is wrong. Since, we do not know with 100% surety at what stage of pregnancy does life begin, we cannot decide for the fate of the child. Therefore, abortion is wrong as long as the life of the mother is not in danger.

Who are we to decide the fate of the child? Who are we to decide whether the child gets to live or not, even if life does not begin at early stage of pregnancy, abortion at an early stage would still be killing the potential of life for the child, making abortion immoral.

While Sikhism denounces abortion, allowance in circumstances such as when the life or health of the mother is judged by competent medical authority to be in serious jeopardy, or when the fetus is known by competent medical authority to have serious defects that will not allow the baby to survive beyond birth. In all other cases such as unfit parents, rape, failed contraceptive, social and economic factors abortion is wrong. Those who are unable to raise a child because of number of different reason; adoption is a wonderful alternative that should be considered.

If there is no prospect of marriage to the man or woman involved and the mother not willing to accept or able to accept the unwanted child, placing the child for adoption by parents who will love the child and care for the child is a wonderful option. There are many couples who long for a child and cannot have one.


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