In response to questions submitted to the editor concerning abortion, Messiah Times offers the following article written by editor-in-chief, Rabbi Shaul Elkeslasi.
Maimonides, preeminent rabbinic authority and codifier of Jewish law and the Seven Noahide Laws given by G-d to the nations of the world, writes in Mishna Torah, Laws of Kings, 9:4:
“A Ben-Noah [non-Jew] who kills a person, even a fetus in his mother’s womb, is to be executed.”
That is to say, the mother, doctor and medical staff who perform an abortion are guilty of murder.
The source of Maimonides’ ruling is the book of Genesis, ch. 9, verse 6, which states: “One who spills the blood of a person in the person, his blood will be spilled.” The words “a person in the person” refer to a fetus in his or her mother’s womb. One who spills a fetus’ blood, the Bible teaches, is a murderer in the literal sense; like all murderers, his crime is punishable by death: “...his blood will be spilled.” The prohibition against abortion begins at the moment of conception.
THE REASON WHY SOME PEOPLE ARE UNCARING ABOUT THE LIFE OF A FETUS
Some people are uncaring about the life of a fetus because the fetus can’t be seen; he can’t talk yet and can’t defend himself. And the horror and agony he undergoes - the same as any person brutally murdered - is ignored. It should be made clear that 40 days after conception, the unborn child is a fully formed human being; the baby’s organs and limbs, even his or her gender, are distinctly visible. And yes, the baby feels pain – real pain, like any human being of any age.
THE CRIME OF ABORTION: MORE SERIOUS THAN DRUNKEN DRIVING
With today’s accessibility to a variety of birth control methods, every woman has the choice not to become pregnant. To become pregnant and then abort the fetus is like getting behind the wheel of a car while drunk: It is done out of neglect and it endangers human life. But the woman who aborts commits an even more serious crime than the drunken driver: Unlike the latter, hers is a conscious, thought-out choice to kill; it is a premeditated crime committed with the intent to kill; and the outcome is always death.
If killing someone while driving under the influence of alcohol carries the penalty of a long prison sentence, then it’s absurd for the act of abortion to be legal. At the very least, abortion should be denied the wide acceptability that prevails at present. As difficult a challenge as an unwanted pregnancy may be, it is unethical for any politician or political party to condone the crime of abortion and clear the mother’s conscience of guilt. Any politician who does so is selling principle for popularity as he turns the G-d-given mandate to preserve human life, upon which government is predicated, into an issue of personal preference. It’s the first step on the road to wholesale destruction of human life.
From Messiah Times