Abortion in Buddhism
Being the religion of compassion and mercy to the extreme level, Buddhism disfavors abortion by all means. The five ethical precepts laid down by Buddha Gautama, is, "I undertake the precept to refrain from destroying living beings."Buddhists consider abortion the destruction of a living being, and consider it as a violation of the First Precept. As Buddhism is based on the concept of Ahimsa, the nonviolence and respect toward all sentient life within and without the human species is key to the religion.
The current Dalai Lama of Tibetan Buddhism, Tenzin Gyatso, has referred to abortion as a sin against "non-violence to all sentient beings". However, he has also stated that abortion might be permissible in specific, limited circumstances, "Of course, abortion, from a Buddhist viewpoint, is an act of killing and is negative, generally speaking. But it depends on the circumstances. If the unborn child will be retarded or if the birth will create serious problems for the parent, these are cases where there can be an exception. I think abortion should be approved or disapproved according to each circumstance."
[an error occurred while processing this directive] But even after the strong opposition from the scripture and teachings, followers of Buddhism remain divided on the subject of induced abortion. The followers living in Japan and America are said to be more tolerant of it, at least under certain conditions. The main argument for a tolerant view on abortion might lie in the understanding that by the prohibition of abortion a vicious circle is started which leads to even more suffering due an increase in illegal abortions.
Abortion in Hinduism
For Hindus, abortion is a great sin and a crime. The sin of abortion is one of the worst sin for Hindus. It is one of the six kinds of murder described in Hindu culture. Moreover, abortion thwarts a soul in its progress towards God, like any other act of violence. It teaches that a fetus is a living, conscious person deserving of protection. Hinduism has traditionally taught that a soul is reincarnated and enters the embryo at the time the embryo is conceived.
Hindu epics like Mahabharata gives viewpoint of Hinduism towards abortions as it depicts how Ashwatthama, one of the seven legendary immortals or Chiranjeevin in Hinduism, is cursed by Lord Krishna to immortality and eternal suffering partly for killing the fetus, later born as Parikshit, grandson of Arjuna when he was in his mother's womb. It is a painful fact that there are abortions practiced particularly when the child would be a daughter. Even though followers interpret the scriptures for the individual benefits, Hinduism, the religion of love and tolerance, condemns the act of abortion.
Sikhism and abortion
Although the Sikh code of conduct does not deal directly with abortion, it is generally forbidden in Sikhism because it interferes in the creative work of God. Same as most of the religions, Sikhism believes that life begins at the moment of conception. Once conception has taken it would be a sin to destroy life through abortion. Despite this theoretical viewpoint, abortion is not uncommon among the Sikh community in India, and there is concern that the practice of aborting female embryos because of a cultural preference for sons is growing.
No religion permits followers to abort children for any reason. A life, whatever be the forms, is precious and an asset to the society. Aborting a child for any reason cannot be justified as every creature even a fetus has the right to live on this earth.