Why is abortion always treated as a Catholic issue?
I get highly annoyed when people speak of issues such as abortion as if they were purely the invention of the religious right and devoid of any other supporters than “the crazy Christians”.
So to help put things in perspective, here are several secular sources who, like Christians, thought that abortions were a bad idea. Boldness liberally applied by myself.
“There are five kinds of evil Karma which are difficult to extinguish, even if one were to repent of them. What are the five kinds of offences? The first one is killing the father, the second one is killing the mother, the third one is abortion, the fourth one is to injure the Buddha, the fifth one is to create disharmony among the Sangha assemblies. These five types of evil and sinful karma are difficult to extinguish.” -The Dharani Sutra of the Buddha
“I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy. In purity and holiness I will guard my life and my art.” -Hippocratic Oath – Greek, 4th century BC
“The law enjoins us to bring up all our offspring, and forbids women to cause abortion of what is begotten, or to destroy it afterward; and if any woman appears to have so done, she will be a murderer of her child, by destroying a living creature, and diminishing humankind.” -Josephus, 1st century Jewish historian
“Do not abort a foetus or kill a child that is born.” -The Didache – the first manual of the Christian Church, AD 100 (Ok, this doesn’t exactly fit the criteria of a secular source, but it does show that this isn’t a recent tirade of the religious right.
“You shall not kill your awlad [born or unborn children] due to fear of poverty. We provide for them, as well as for you. Killing them is a gross offence.” Quran 17:311
“It seems to me clear as daylight that abortion would be a crime.” -Mahatma Gandhi
“They are killing the baby in the womb. How cruel! In this age of unwanted population, man is losing his compassion. That living entity must again take on that same life form to complete its designated life term in that body. And the killer must return to pay for damages.” -A.C. Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada, founder of the Radha-Krishna movement
- Come on, this is even more potent coming from one of the most blood-thirsty religions on the planet. [↩]