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Repentance after doing an abortion


Dear Rabbi,

I am writing you from Israel. Last May I was 6 months pregnant and the hospital called to tell me there was a problem. I was told that there was a high chance (40%) that my baby would have mental retardation. It was recommended to me that I terminate the pregnancy. With a heavy heart I must say that I panicked and did so. I was told that if I wanted to terminate the pregnancy without birth I had to do so within the next 24 hours. I panicked and terminated my beautiful babies life. It was the worst experience of my life and since then it has come to light that the hospital made a mistake and the real risk was more like 5%. My husband and I are taking legal action against the hospital but that doesn’t change the pain and loss I feel. I have been in emotional hell for the past 7 months. If I had known the real risk I never would have stopped the pregnancy. I keep on telling my husband that when I killed her my soul went along with her. I have 2 children at home and I take console in that but I can’t seem to get past the guilt and grief. I became pregnant in September and had a miscarriage on Yom Kippur. I thought that was a sign from G-d punishing me. I do believe in G-d but I am not very religious. I pray every morning. I feel that I can’t go on living with this guilt and grief. If I could only turn back the clock. How can G-d forgive me? Can G-d bless me with another child? How can I find help with prayers? Please help me I have even considered ending my life. I just can’t because I can’t leave my 2 amazing children.
Thank you,


This sound terribly sad unfortunately hospitals, and many in the medical profession don’t value human life enough, and as soon as there is a chance of an issue, they decide that someone else’s life isn’t worth living. (Unfortunately this happens often; the ultrasound appears problematic and it really isn’t that way, and everything is fine. This is why there are many that don’t want to take the “skirat maarechet”  ultrasound). The torah on the other hand gives ultimate importance to human life, and killing a baby is not allowed in almost any instance. But the hospital duped you into doing this and we have to look for ways to correct, build, and move on. G-d made the world with the element of repentance, and we can correct mistakes that were made – because G-d said that we can. First of all, keep on praying, and asking G-d for forgiveness. It might be a good idea to join a class on the power of prayer to help you appreciate it more, and strengthen your connection to G-d. ( If you need suggestions let me know where you live, so I can connect you). Secondly, the Rabbis say that one of the ways to atone for a sin is to do the opposite of the effect of the sin. So definitely try having more children, and also I would suggest donating money to Efrat in Israel (tel. 02-545-4500) an organization that helps fight against abortion. This way you are turning the one soul that was lost and building many other ones from it. You will also be turning the negative experience into one that has a somewhat positive outcome.

Note: It is possible that Efrat has counselors that you can talk to about this problemI

Best Wishes and may to find repentance and peace of mind soon

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