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Contraception in Jewish Law

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Contaception in Judaism
Theology 3400
Dr. Hubert Dimwiddie

Contraception in Judaism Overview
Unlike many other religions, Jewish Law is not completely against the idea of contraception. Because there is nothing specifically in the Bible about contraception or birth control, Jewish Law does not condone the act in some instances. However, that is an important distinction. There are some circumstances that contraception is not allowed in Jewish Law while there are other circumstances in which it is acceptable. The circumstances play a large part in figuring out whether or not contraception is allowed in a certain scenario.
While there are many cases where contraception is allowed or is not allowed, which we will delve into in further detail later on, Jewish Law favors contraception over abortion. Abortion is also allowed in certain cases, but in all cases, contraception is preferred over abortion. The rationale behind this idea is that in abortion, the fertilized egg is being destroyed, while in contraception, the egg is simply being prevented from being fertilized. Contraception is viewed as a much better alternative to abortion for that reason; the fertilized egg is never affected.
While the distinction about when contraception is allowed is mostly situational, there are specific types of women who are considered better candidates to use birth control than other types of women.

Types of Women allowed to use mokh There are three specific types of women who are allowed, even encouraged, to use a diaphragm, or mokh. These women are encouraged to do so because of the marginal hazard that occurs to the woman, fetus, or an infant still in need of its mother’s milk when these types of women become pregnant. The first of these types of women is a child bride. These are women who get married at an especially early age, specifically...

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