Are there any orthodox rabbis alive today that allow one to abort a fetus that has been diagnosed with a life threatening illness such as Tay Sachs?

I have read the related posts that discuss the For and Againsts for abortions, this question is specifically asking about the rulings of rabbis alive today.

Are there any known Rabbonim today who will permit the abortion based on the Tzitz Eliezer 13:102 and 14:101 etc.

  • 7
    You should find a rabbi you trust and ask him, independent of what he holds. He'll decide if the decision needs to be escalated up and to where.
    – Double AA
    Oct 23, 2017 at 13:19
  • 2
    Adding to @DoubleAA’s point, the Gemara (Avodah Zarah 7a) explicitly writes that if you ask you Rabbi you must listen to him and may not go “Rabbi shopping.”
    – DonielF
    Oct 23, 2017 at 13:36

3 Answers 3


Please note that this site is not designed for answering personal halachic questions. The short answer is that yes, such a position is still around and mainstream, though many rabbis do not want to be publicly known as "the-allows-abortion rabbi" and thus it's unlikely to have a list of such names posted online. Strongly recommend you contact yoatzot.org ; they can connect you with the right people in the US or Israel.

In the US, for instance, I heard an mp3 in which Rabbi Yonah Reiss (now of the Chicago beis din) was asked about aborting a pregnancy with severe medical issues; he said depending on the circumstances, the local rabbi could refer the couple to a posek who would allow it. You could contact him for further details.


See a relevant post from R Aviner (in the title, you asked for mainstream orthodox for which R Aviner would surely qualify, then the text asks for an Ultra-Orthodox rabbi and there I'm not sure if he would qualify in your eyes). In any case a contact given on his website is [email protected]

An alternative is to speak with Mahon Puah (or here in Hebrew) which specialize in fertility issues from religious couples. They have a wide set of poskim they are in contact with.

May Hashem give you strength in whatever path you end up choosing!


R. Meir Mazuz wrote a response on abortion of fetuses with diseases noting that most poskim allow abortion for babies with Tay-Sachs (the implication is that he endorses this position):

תלוי בסוג המחלה וכמה סיכוים יש להתרפא במחלת "טיי זקס" דעת רוב הפוסקים להתיר הפלה. וכן ראיתי שאלות ותשובות להרב אהרן פוייפר זצ"ל ביוהניסבורג בשנת התשנ"א

It depends on the type of illness and the chances of recovery from it. Regarding Tay-Sachs, the opinion of most poskim is to permit abortion, and so I have seen in the responsa of R. Aharon Pfeuffer rabbi of Johannesburg in the year 1991.

I have also heard (second hand) that R. Asher Weiss is generally lenient with the issue of abortion, and follows the view of the Tsits Eliezer.

Note that R. Mazuz suggests (in response to a similar question) that someone contact Machon Puah.

  • I assume R. Mazuz is dating the responsum; not when he was rabbi. He was rabbi from 80 until 93, so 91 is a funny year to describe him being rabbi.
    – mevaqesh
    Oct 23, 2017 at 20:23
  • Were I not the subject of routine serial commentless downvoting, this would be quite a bizarre downvote.
    – mevaqesh
    Oct 27, 2017 at 18:59

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