News came out that the British pharmaceutical company Rhein Pharma has filed for approval of an orally administered abortion pill in Japan (2021/12/22).
Although this seems to be a welcome trend from the perspective of maternal protection, the number of abortions itself is expected to accelerate in the future when it becomes “more readily available.
In Japan, according to statistics published by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, there were 145,340 abortions in 2020. This is really quite a large number.
In this issue, we will discuss how abortion is judged spiritually and ultra-religiously, and also present a Neo Buddhism view of abortion.
In conclusion, basically, abortion is spiritually culpable homicide. This is not because it is religiously “decreed,” but because it is spiritually viewed as such from a supra-religious point of view.
Also, having an abortion is a great karma for the mother.
From a Neo Buddhism perspective, to be more precise, abortion after the 5th week of pregnancy, when morning sickness begins, is considered homicide.
However, abortion can be considered in extenuating circumstances from the perspective of maternal protection or in the case of rape, incest, or other incidental pregnancies.
The reasons for this are discussed below.
In world religions, is abortion the same as murder?
Check out what each world religion’s position is on abortion.
In Christianity, whether Catholic or Protestant, the doctrinal position is that a person is considered a human being at the stage of conception and that “abortion is murder.
Man is a special being “created in the image of God” (“Genesis”), which means that he must not be killed for his own convenience.
Thus, murder itself is prohibited by the Ten Commandments of Moses as “Do not kill,” but the interpretation is that abortion is also included in murder.
However, even in some Christian countries, “reasonable” decisions are made from country to country (or state to state in the U.S., for example) and from period to period.
However, the basic rule is that abortion is only permissible in situations where “the mother’s life is in danger,” but in other cases, even in rape cases and incest pregnancies, abortion is considered murder.
Abortion is subject to excommunication for Catholics and church discipline for Protestants.
In Islam, abortion is forbidden (haram) except for the purpose of “saving the mother’s life”, but since the hadith states that “a human being becomes a human being after 120 days in the mother’s womb,” abortion at an earlier stage tends to be permitted.
It is surprisingly “middle-of-the-road” in world religions.
In Buddhism, abortion is traditionally viewed negatively because it violates the first of the five precepts, the precept of nonviolence.
The main rationale is that the Buddha has ruled to expel the Order in seven cases where Buddhist disciples were involved in abortions.
According to Buddhism, a fetus is a human being when the following three things are met
- Sexual activity
- Cessation of menstruation
- The entry of the subject into reincarnation
Since it cannot be determined that she is pregnant at stages 1 and 2, it would seem that the standard is ultimately based on the “entry of the subject of reincarnation” in 3.
However, since the traditional view is that “entry” begins at the stage of fertilization, that means that the judgment is stricter than in Islam.
What Neo Buddhism thinks about abortion
Now, in Neo Buddhism, we will consider how we think about abortion, including the spiritual basis for it.
Abortion is basically the equivalent of murder
Just as the above three world religions commonly view abortion as equivalent to murder, Neo Buddhism also still views it as such.
Apart from the crime of murder as a criminal offense, there is also the crime of murder from the perspective of truth-spirituality.
Of course, the object of both is still murder, but considering that truth includes logic beyond this world in its judgment, the judgment by truth-spirituality is still important in the end.
In truth-spiritual terms, the reason why murder is wrong is that it is an act that forcibly deprives the subject of the opportunity to cultivate his or her soul in this world, while also causing grief to those around him or her.
In that sense, even in the fetal stage, of course, the fetus is in the mother’s body with a plan and determination to do soul training in this world, so it would fall under the above definition.
So the truth is that you should really give birth unless you have a very good reason to do so.
Some spiritual sites seem to preach a fatalism that since we are born with a specific person to marry, it is undesirable to give birth to a child conceived in a relationship with someone other than that person.
Yes, it is true that, to a certain extent, we make life plans in advance (before we are born) as to “who we will become family with”.
However, this world is very fluid, so people will assume several patterns of marriage partners, “first choice, second choice…” and it is possible to deviate from these patterns and combine with a partner of a new match.
On earth, we are born to gain “experience,” so we should consider such new relationships as welcome.
Therefore, reasons such as “I don’t think he is the one I was planning to marry” are not an excuse to abort.
Even if it was a “casual one-night stand,” for example, the couple should still be held responsible for not having provided proper contraception (including aftercare).
After all, no matter how you look at it, you should consider that there is no excuse for anything other than an incidental pregnancy.
The soul of an aborted fetus has nowhere to go
The souls of babies (fetuses) whose life on earth was forcibly terminated have nowhere to go, and in many cases, they wander around in this world, clinging to their mothers, or live a solitary life after death in a corner of the spirit world.
One website says that aborted babies “watch over their mothers from space” and are “healthy and happy,” but this is outrageous. Absolutely no such thing is possible.
This aspect of “depriving the baby of the opportunity for spiritual evolution after abortion” must also be considered.
No soul goes to the trouble of inhabiting a mother’s body to be aborted
Some spiritual sites say that the fetus deliberately inhabits the mother’s body to gain abortion experience, or that the fetus may have wanted the mother to experience an abortion.
And since it is fate, they argue that it is undesirable to go against fate to give birth, that the heavens are also supporting abortion, etc., but this is preposterous.
When a soul goes to the effort of inhabiting its mother’s body, it has come down to earth (to varying degrees) with a certain plan for its life.
Abortion is an act of forcibly depriving that soul of the opportunity for spiritual evolution; moreover, after the abortion, it has nowhere to go, further delaying its spiritual evolution.
Of course, in the very long term, “that is one of the experiences of the soul,” but that is something that can be said from God’s point of view, not from the human side of things.
After all, human beings have good and evil, and choosing the good is the right way to live, and it is connected to the theory of happiness.
Therefore, we must recognize that “abortion is 100% evil,” except in the case of an incidental pregnancy.
Babies are not born from outer space
Furthermore, one website states that “babies are born from space to gain experience on earth, and being aborted is a valuable experience,” etc., which is also an opinion based on ignorance.
It completely confuses the physical dimension (the material world) with the spiritual dimension.
Although aliens may inhabit the mother body in order to migrate to the earth, they do so by first coming as souls in the spiritual dimension and then descending to the mother body.
The spiritual dimension comes first.
There are indeed many spiritualists who mistakenly believe that just mentioning the word “universe” makes anything spiritual.
Anyone who thinks about it for a moment can see that the physical dimension (the material world) is just that, the physical dimension, and that it is logically impossible for a spiritual (pre-born) soul to exist there.
There is no such thing as a “higher being’s idea” of abortion
Some websites say that “higher dimensional beings wish for the growth of each individual soul” and so on…but this makes no sense at all.
Higher-dimensional beings want to eliminate unnecessary abortions from the world because they wish for the growth of each individual soul, and this is what logic is all about.
Life on earth is an irreplaceable place for the growth of the soul. It is equivalent to ten times the amount of training in the afterlife, which is why we all compete to be born on earth.
How could a higher being wish to deprive us of such a precious opportunity for spiritual evolution?
Morning sickness begins (on average) “fetus at 5 weeks gestation”
Now, there have been differences of opinion among world religions as to at what stage an embryo can be called a “fetus.
With the Christian view that the fetus is a fetus from the stage of conception, there will be cases of incidental pregnancies where post-coital contraception will not be available in time.
In fact, the most accurate understanding of the fetus is the Buddhist concept of “the entry of the soul into the body of the subject of reincarnation.
In short, it means that the soul is not yet in the mother’s body at the stage of fertilization.
The question is, “So, what week is the entry point?” It’s hard to be super precise, but I think one guideline is the stage at which morning sickness occurs.
This means that the soul enters the mother’s body around the 5th week of pregnancy. This is an earlier judgment than the Islamic “120 days.
Let me explain why morning sickness is a criterion.
When a child’s soul is conceived in the womb, it means that there is a double soul in the mother’s body (including the mother’s), right?
Then, when the vibration of the mother’s soul and the child’s soul do not match, a physical reaction will occur. This is thought to be “morning sickness.
So there is “heavy or light” morning sickness.
Severe morning sickness = no match in vibration, which means either or both of the following.
- There is a difference in spiritual rank
- There is a difference in the type or lineage of the soul
For more information on the vibration theory of the soul, see the following article.
*Reference article: Meaning and Mission of Life – What is the Most Winning Theory of Success?
That is why I consider the criterion that the soul enters the uterus in the fifth cycle of pregnancy, which is considered the average for the occurrence of morning sickness.
Conversely, it is understood that abortion below the fifth week of pregnancy does not constitute murder.
Contraception, including the after pill, is not a sin
However, the pregnancy test is valid “one week after the next menstrual period is expected,” i.e., approximately 5 weeks after conception.
Then, the question would be, “Hasn’t the soul already entered at the stage of inspection?
In that sense, I would say that if you remember that there is a “possibility of pregnancy,” it is advisable to use contraception at an early stage, such as by taking the after-pill.
Incidentally, even some world religions consider the act of contraception itself a sin in the first place, but Neo Buddhism does not consider it so strictly.
We understand that the act of a married couple or blessed partners confirming their love for each other, even if not for the purpose of having children, is basically in accordance with God’s will.
If you don’t think of it that way, it is hard to understand why sexual activity is pleasurable and why God created human beings the way they are.
I think it is too strict to say that all sexual activity other than procreation is not allowed, and in reality it is impossible to protect it.
In Japan, we commonly say “food, sex, and sleep,” but the same applies to food and sleep other than sex.
Excessive gastronomy leads to unhealthiness and obsession, but that does not mean that gastronomy itself is bad. If we were told that even a 3 o’clock snack is bad, or that even a short nap is an obsession, it would be a bleak world, wouldn’t it?
Everything is fine as long as it is moderate.
In this sense, we take the view that contraceptive use with a contraceptive device and the use of the after-pill after sexual intercourse are acceptable.
However, if the sexual act itself becomes one of the central values in one’s life, it will lead to a decline in one’s spiritual rank, and we must be careful about that.
Incidental abortions can be considered
Basically, we believe that while “abortion constitutes murder,” it can be considered from the perspective of truth in the case of rape and other incidental pregnancies.
To begin with, the reason (from a truth-spiritual perspective) that “murder is wrong” was that it interferes with the subject’s soul practice and makes the people around him sad as well.
In some cases, such as a highly incidental pregnancy, the child to be born may also be unhappy.
In addition, since human relationships have not yet been established at the fetal stage, it does not fall under the stage of “causing grief to those around it.
That is why, although it is better not to abort, we believe that abortion for a case pregnancy can be considered from the perspective of God and Buddha.
What if you have already had an abortion?
Some of you may have already had abortions in the past.
What if that is the case? Unfortunately, the fact of the past itself cannot be pretended that it never happened.
Transformation of values can, to some extent, override the past
However, there is also the aspect that if values change, even past events can be recovered to some extent.
At the risk of getting a little philosophical, time is, in a sense, “non-existent.
We observe changes in things (whether consciously or unconsciously) and perceive “time” in the following flow itself.
A before change → B after change
We can say, in short, that “change and the self-consciousness of observing change are themselves the true nature of time.
In this sense, the true nature of time is not that there is a past, present, and future, but rather that the “present” is always changing and persisting.
Therefore, even if an event is in the past, its “values” belong to the present, and those values are reality.
If so, then if we can sincerely reflect and transform our values, we have in a sense overwritten the past.
So, if you can accept the contents of this article as being true, then take the following actions.
- Reflect from the bottom of your heart
- Make a memorial service for the aborted child, and sincerely apologize
Consider a balance sheet for your life
As long as people live in this world, they are compelled to commit certain sins.
Just by walking around, you may unknowingly step on or crush an insect.
Even if we are careful, when we consider the level of microorganisms, we can say that we are violating the “commandment to kill” just by breathing.
However, the reason why we are still kept alive on earth is because we are expected to create “value-added goodness” that can surpass the many “sins” that we commit.
In money matters, there is the concept of “assets and liabilities,” isn’t there?
For example, suppose you have $100,000 in assets and $60,000 in liabilities (e.g., debts).
Then the true assets = net assets can be calculated by the following formula.
Assets ($100,000) – Liabilities ($60,000) = Net Worth ($40,000)
The $40,000 is the net worth.
Life is the same way, and even if you have created negative points (i.e., liabilities), such as abortion, if you have made a set of reflections, you are rather creating good if you try to create enough assets (good) to cancel out the liabilities.
Needless to say, assets in this case are “giving back good to the world.
Even if we commit evil, let us create overwhelming good that outweighs the evil.
Instead of falling into fatalism, it is essential to do our best to increase our “soul assets” through self-help efforts.
Rather, let us continue to devote ourselves with such vigor that you yourself become a bodhisattva (angel) in order to create “overwhelming goodness” that will reduce the debt to an absolute minimum.