Revisiting Buddhist Position on the Right to Life of an Unborn

  • Abhinav Anand
Keywords: Avihimsā, Gabbhapātana, Gandhabba, Jalābujāyoni, Pāṇātipāt, Pārājika, Thullaccay, , Utunī


In this paper, investigating the issue whether Buddhism proposes (a) pro-life, (b) pro-choice, (c) middle way, or (d) ambiguous position on the issues of abortion, three questions are examined: (i) when does an individual life begin according to the early Buddhist texts? (ii) what are the cases of abortion recorded in the Pāli texts? (iii) how and why the Buddhist metaphysical and ethical principles prohibits killing? Analysing selected passages of Pāli texts such as Majjhima, Saṃyutta and Aṇguttara Nikāya-s, Vinaya Piṭaka, Milindapañha, Dhammapada and Jātaka, and their metaphysical and ethical ideas the author argues that abortion is an act of ṇātipāta (killing) a moral being and is prohibited.

Author Biography

Abhinav Anand

¨Dr Abhinav Anand holds a PhD from Indian Institute of Technology (ISM) Dhanbad and is currently associated as Intern with Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi. His areas of interest are Ethics and Human Values, Environmental Ethics, Ethical thinking in the Indian Tradition, and Gender and Indic Tradition.


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How to Cite
Anand, A. (2020). INDUCED ABORTION AS PĀṆĀTIPĀTA. Journal of Dharma, 45(3), 421-436. Retrieved from