Sikhism Point of View on Abortion
From a general standpoint of view, Sikhism forbids abortion as it interferes with God’s creative work. Sikhs believe that Guru Granth Sahib Ji has given people a thought process that they can use in order to determine the wrongness or rightness of moral issues. Abortion in Sikhism is a complex issue that involves numerous possible situations.
According to the Sikhs, life is sacred and Gurbani is clear taking life is wrong. Most Sikhs are in agreement that life starts at conception as such, once conception takes place it is a sin to destroy that new life. For this reason, abortion or miscarriage is forbidden. The code of conduct though does not talk much about abortion.
Regardless of the theoretical viewpoint of the Sikhs, the practice of abortion is not uncommon among Sikh community in India and there are concerns about the increasing practice of aborting female embryos because of the growing preference for sons that is growing at an alarming rate.
Sikhism upholds that since it is not possible to tell 100% at what stage of pregnancy life begins, then people should not determine the fate of the child. As such, abortion is wrong if it does not endanger the life of the mother.
It asks pertinent questions such as who we are in order to decide whether a child should live or die even and even if life does not begin in the early stages of pregnancy, abortion at such an early stage would still be considered destruction of a potential life making it immoral.
Though Sikhism condemns and denounces abortion, it also has allowance circumstances like when the health and life of the mother is in danger and judged by a competent medical authority that the mother is in serious jeopardy or when a competent medical authority confirms that the unborn fetus has serious defects that will make it impossible for it to survive beyond childbirth.
There are other instances when Sikhism permits abortion like when the parents are unfit, in cases of rape, economic and social factors. Those unable to raise children for different kinds of reasons are advised to give them up for adoption rather than resort for abortion.
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