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wait, jews are not pro life?

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Rabbi Ari Shvat

Adar II 8, 5782
Question
Isnt the fact that we inherently believe that life starts from conception enough to tell us that abortion is never allowed unless giving birth will be life-threatening to the mother? Why on earth is the mothers fragile mental health or the fact that the fetus will have down syndrome, a justification for killing an unborn child? And in such an, forgive me for saying, inhumane way? I mean, forcibly suctioning the child out of its mothers womb thus causing it to die, or injecting chemicals into the fetuses body to kill it, or allowing the mother to take medicines that will induce a "natural" miscarriage?! How can that EVER be justified? And on the premise that the mothers mental health will be effected? So there are support systems in place, and adoption, and financial help... Whats the reasoning and how is this an excuse?
Answer
Of course the Torah is "pro-life" but not as defined by the Republican party or the Pope, but as defined by the eternal orthodox halacha! "Life" does not start from conception as you wrote, for the Torah writes explicitly that an aborted fetus is not (!) equivalent to killing a person (Shmot 21, 22). You are correct that abortion is obviously generally prohibited, unless there is explicit rabbinic justification, which we will obviously not detail here, for each case is different, and needs to be subjectively detailed and analyzed by the rabbi. The Torah is a Living Torah, which harmonizes all of the complex ideals together, yes including the mother's mental health and certain serious syndromes of the fetus at certain times of the pregnancy (again, each case is unique and subjective), taking them all into account, to be truly "pro-life" for all, as defined by the Living Torah.
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