What is the Baha’i perspective on abortion?

Baha’is believe that the woman and her physician should make the decision about whether to have an abortion. However, Baha’is also believe that the soul comes into existence at the time of conception. This means that a human life exists from the point of fertilization and to abort a fetus is to end a human life.

Therefore, this is not a choice that should be taken lightly. While there may be cases where a woman’s life is in danger and the choice is left to the woman and her physician; abortion for the purposes of birth control is forbidden. Baha’is believe that a fertilized egg is a child, and therefore all children should be given a chance at life, whether or not it is convenient for the parents. Universal House of Justice has explained, “Abortion merely to prevent the birth of an unwanted child is strictly forbidden in the Cause. There may, however, be instances in which an abortion would be justified by medical reasons, and legislation on this matter has been left to the Universal House of Justice. At the present time, however, the House of Justice does not intend to legislate on this very delicate issue, and therefore it is left to the consciences of those concerned who must carefully weigh the medical advice in the light of the general guidance given in the teachings.”(UHJ, LG p. 344).

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