What happens after an abortion to the unborn child and to the women in their next life? Is it a murder? How can they change it for better Kamma?


According to Buddhism abortion is a type of murder, it is a type of killing. The intention may not be the same as somebody planning to assassinate someone who plans weeks ahead to get ready to shoot someone in the back and so on, so the intention may be different. In fact the intention may be totally clouded. But according to Buddhism, it is still killing. Now, I can't say what happens to the unborn child. They are dead and according to Buddhism they are going to have another birth somewhere else, hopefully. As to the women, one thing we do know is that for a lot of women, at least the ones who have talked to us about it, is that they have a lot of regret. They don't like what they did, what they did when they were perhaps pressured or confused. Maybe their boyfriend pressured them to do it, maybe their parents, maybe other friends. For a lot of people they actually don't think much about it when they do it because for a lot of people in the West in particular, in the East as well, abortion is just another way of birth control, they don't care about it at all.

According to Buddhism though, the moment that there is conception, there is a living being, so it is quite different as far as Buddhism is concerned. So a lot of women who get interested in Buddhism, and in the Buddhist practice start having regrets about what they did, and we have to work a lot with these people so they can have Compassion and Lovingkindness for the person who they were before. Encouraging them not to blame themselves but rather to have more forgiveness for themselves, and a lot of other things of that nature. We encourage them to see that the person who they were in the past who had the abortion is not the person who they are today. We want them to open to that, we want them to see that they are a new kind of person, that they have grown, and that they have developed.

Something else that often helps a lot of women who have had an abortion is for them to get involved in helping others to avoid the same activity. We were able to help one of our close students who got pregnant, and who was thinking of an abortion. Her boyfriend wanted her to have an abortion but we were able to help them change their minds. She had the baby. As she knew that she wasn't going to stay together with her boyfriend, as they weren't enough in love, and as she also knew that she wouldn't be able to raise it by herself, because she wasn't ready for it, that she was too young, they decided to give it up for adoption. But it was an Open Adoption, I don't know if they have that here in Germany, but in America and Australia have what's called Open Adoption, in which you know the people who are adopting your kid and you are able to see your kid from time to time. The kid is now 8 years old, she is a girl - knows she has two mothers, the birth mother sees her from time to time, and she lives with the adopted mother. The girl seems to be happy from what we know, it has all worked out very nicely to avoid of having an abortion.

We have felt that it was wonderful to be able to help somebody stop having an abortion. A very nice thing to do. So this is something else that women can do if they have had an abortion in the past, that is to actually help stop other people from having an abortion. And in a sense the end of the last question, how can they change some of their past bad Kamma for better Kamma. Can we learn from every mistake that we make? Can we learn not to do it again? Can we learn to help other people not to make similar mistakes also? In these ways we are going to be making better Kamma.

Our apologies if there are any errors in the above text. If anything seems to be wrong or confusing in any way, please feel free to contact the teachers for further clarification.