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Summary of Question:Moral Dilemma
Category:General Sikhism
Date Posted:Friday, 8/27/1999 8:05 PM MDT

Yours is a wonderful site, and I much admire the work that has gone into it. I'm new to the Internet and am positively awestruck at the wealth of information that can be gleaned from it (although it does well to take some of it with a grain of salt).
Anyway, I'm facing a bit of a moral dilemma, and your perspective would be greatly appreciated. The dilemma goes so: I work at a local Women's Shelter and recently have been working with a girl who is expecting a baby. She is indecisive as to whether or not she should have an abortion. Although, I've never been overtly vocal about it, I've always intuitively taken a firm stance against abortion. On the one hand, I know that I should merely lay before her all the viable alternatives, and let her decide for herself - the final decision rightfully being hers. Yet, on the other hand, it goes against what I strongly believe in to tell this 15 year old girl, not much younger than myself, that killing her baby is a "viable" option.
I've spoken to my employer and she says that if I choose to push one stance over the other, then I'm out of a job. This doesn't particularly bother me, since I'm only a summer student, and full-time classes commence next week anyway. What does worry me, however, is that going into the line of work I'm going into, the "abortion issue" is sure to rear its head again--if not tomorrow, most certainly in the forseeable future. The way I handle this scenario, therefore, sets a precedent as to how I handle similar future scenarios.
My sister says to "keep my mouth shut, and go with the flow" while my friend tell me to stand by my morals and convictions, and to "under no circumstances buckle." I'm inclined to do as my sister says rather than what my friend says, since I know from experience that it's a lot easier to sit and spout moralistic clap-trap than it is to give an honest opinion.
I quite honestly, am caught between the proverbial rock and hard place.Has Sikhi really no clear-cut answer to all of this?

I await your reply - Jeet


Dear Jeet,

Your's is a dilemma that no person should be put in. What do you do? I cant answer that question. I can give you my opinion, I can give you my advice. The thing of it is that you are the one who will live with the decision. You must make a decision in this situation whether it be that you decide to tell her to get an abortion or whether you tell her that she should keep it. Just remember that whatever she decides she also has to live with it, that is not your responsibility. Here are the facts as you gave them to me :
1. This young woman is at a Shelter. By this I gather she has no money. She is also not in touch with her family or she does not have anyone.
2. She is 15 years old. It is realistic that she might not be able to take care of the child. If she does have the child it may be the straw that broke the Camels back.
3. This young Girl is very confused. She doesnt know if she even wants the baby, and she needs some mental clarity on this before she decides to bring a life into this world. It would be hugely unfair to the child to be brought into this world and not be taken care of properly or worse not be wanted.
4. The last fact is that we none of us have th right to interfere in the lives or decisions of others. You can only give guilt and Karma free advice when the other person gives you their pemission to you to give them that advice. Otherwise you are telling them to do something ased on what you believe is the best thing.

Now that we have the facts as we know them ( I'm sure that there is much much more to all of this as no Human situation is ever that simple)
Here is my advice. You should take all of these facts and make your own decision . Imagine yourself in her shoes evewn if you dont think it could ever happen. What would be best for you and your possible child then. How would you deal with all of this. I mean this is a very serious life decision here. It could mean her happiness. When you have decided how you would deal with it in a non emotional, but more practical and logical manner, then ask her if she wants your advice. If she does then give the options as you see it. Tell her the consequences of both decisions and to listen to the Truth inside of her ownself. Then she should make her decision. That is my advice. You have to understand that in this life what you think and what you believe may not be the best choice for the next person. We are all here to live life to the best of each of our own abilities. If we all lived exactly the same there would be no more Cosmic Drama. We would be Zombies.

Ihope that young girl does the right thing for herself and for the fetus. I hope that whatever happens you feel that you have done the right thinbg according to the case in hand. Please remember that somertimes all we have is hope and if we take that away we have nothing. I hope that this has answered your question and that your doubts have been somewhat cleared. Than You

Wahe Guru Ji Ka Khalsa Wahe Guru Ji Ki Fateh



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