BITS Pilani: Perspectives on abortion

Acharya Prashant
27 min readOct 26, 2022

The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.

Questioner (Q): My question is regarding abortion. Broadly, there are two schools of thought regarding abortion. The first one is, because it is the woman’s body, she is the one who gets to decide whether to abort or deliver the child. The second school of thought says that the woman cannot decide to abort the child by her own will, because who is she to decide whether a particular life should come into this Earth or not? So, this creates a confusion in my mind as to what is the right thing to do in cases of unwanted pregnancy. What are your views on this?

Acharya Prashant (AP): See, it is not for you or me to decide. We may keep saying a thousand things; ultimately, it is the mother who is going to decide, unless you overrule her jurisdiction through law or other rules. So, it is the mother who is going to decide. The more pertinent question should be: How would the mother with deep consciousness and self-awareness decide versus an unconscious mother whose decision comes from deep body-identification and materialistic line of thought? That is where the difference comes.

You are trying to look at the issue of abortion as if it is an objective matter. You want to know my thoughts on abortion; you want to probably create a consensus on abortion. There are so many countries in the Third World, in the First World, in the Christian world, in the secular world, in the Islamic world, and they have all been struggling with the issue of abortion since decades now. Even in the most liberal of the countries the issue has hardly been settled, and it is not likely to be settled soon because there are dissenting voices and varying viewpoints. The church is saying one thing, the liberals are saying one thing, feminists are saying one thing, and time and again medical science comes up with a new discovery and that has an impact on the discourse. So, all that has led us to believe as if it is an objective matter, but it is not an objective matter. It is a thing in the domain of the mother. What is the relationship between the mother and the unborn child, I mean, the fetus? That will decide whether the mother will nourish it or kill it.

In fact, we talk of abortion so much because we are very body-centered people. The…