Abortion is a much-debated topic, and religion frequently plays a role in any such discussion.

How does abortion fit into Buddhist faith?

Is it considered negative karma by definition, or perhaps negative karma, depending upon the situation (e.g. in a family that cannot afford to properly support and raise a new child, or in the case of an abortion to save the life of the mother)?

Are there definitions of when human life begins tied with Buddhism?

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    Seung Sahn talked about this from the point-of-view of intention and harm - see thebuddhistblog.blogspot.co.uk/2010/05/… – Rory Hunter Jul 14 '14 at 18:38
  • This modern-secular buddhist, defines life as "sentient beings". So informed by science, fetus's appear able to think around 4 months after conception. However, this is an answer that likely pleases no one. – MatthewMartin Jul 15 '14 at 2:04
  • This appears to be a duplicate of Are Buddhists Against Abortion, which covers both when "life" from the standpoint of Buddhism begins and how abortion specifically is handled. – Hrafn Jul 15 '14 at 2:20

In Buddhism, life starts at the moment of conception. So abortion breaks the 1st precept and causes bad Karma no matter how you try to justify it. Even if the husband's intention is to save the wife(mother), it still causes bad Karma. To give you an analogy, let's say a bear captured your wife and is about to kill her. Say you have a gun with you. You can shoot the bear and save your wife, but it still breaks the 1st precept and causes bad Karma.

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    Isn't allowing the death of your wife also bad karma? Where is the intention is your example? I see the intention not to harm the bear however if given little choice to save another life, who are you or me to play judge, jury and executioner? – Motivated Jul 30 '15 at 9:00
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    Then you are karmicly responsible for the child who died today in Africa due to starvation. Because you did not send the money you used on buying new clothes, furniture etc. to feed him or her. :) Karma has nothing to do with how others judge you. It's a natural law. Not a God who judges you. – Sankha Kulathantille Jul 30 '15 at 9:25
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    In the context of your example, we are all responsible for the child that died today in Africa no matter the reason for the child's death. The fact that you distinguish child, you and me suggests polarity of you, me and them. Since we are all connected, we all bear some responsibility. The concept of judgement is interesting. Are you suggesting that karma/kamma are the judge and jury? If so, again, it suggests the concept of a sculptor and sculpture. Natural law it may be, however if judgement is being place, how is it being achieved? – Motivated Jul 30 '15 at 17:33
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    "we are all responsible for the child that died" - Maybe according to some socialism theory. But not Karmicly. Karma is not a judge. Just like gravity is not a judge. Killing the bear requires aversion. A thought with aversion is bad Karma,and taking a life breaks the precept even if it was preceded by a thought to save the wife. – Sankha Kulathantille Jul 30 '15 at 17:54
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    This response isn't intended to offend. It is an inquiry to your statements. How do you know for certain what has negative or positive karmic consequences? I am intrigued by the comment on socialism since if we are truly all connected the fact that one ignores a child that died or is dying, is in my view irresponsible for all concerned. Just because one is not directly affected by it, does not equate to lessened responsibility. If this responsibility is denied, it is aversion by definition. – Motivated Jul 31 '15 at 7:42

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