Pidyon haben after abortion and conversion
7 March, 2007
If a non-jewish woman had an abortion and later converted to Judaism, can she have a Pidyon Haben ceremony for her baby boy, since he is her firstborn son as a jewish woman?
If a woman has given birth prior to conversion, her firstborn son after conversion does not have a pidyon haben, since he is not the first issue of her womb.
In the case of a prior abortion or miscarriage, whether a pidyon would be required would depend on the stage of the pregnancy prior to abortion. A pidyon is performed in the case of a prior miscarriage or abortion within forty days of conception (usually less than 7.5 weeks calculated from the last menstrual period), or after forty days when there is no formed tissue. If in doubt, then a pidyon is required without a blessing and with the kohen having in mind to return the money.
Unfortunately, many women experience miscarriage prior to carrying a baby to term. Therefore, the lack of a pidyon haben does not reveal to a woman's community that she has had an abortion.
This internet service does not preclude, override or replace the psak of any rabbinical authority. It is the responsibility of the questioner to inform us of any previous consultation or ruling. As even slight variation in circumstances may have Halachic consequences, views expressed concerning one case may not be applied to other, seemingly similar cases. All health and health-related information contained within Nishmat's Women's Health & Halacha Web site is intended to be general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for consulting with your health care professional. The advice is intended to offer a basis for individuals to discuss their medical condition with their health care provider but not individual advice. Although every effort is made to ensure that the material within Nishmat's Women's Health & Halacha Web site is accurate and timely, it is provided for the convenience of the Web site user but should not be considered official. Advice for actual medical practice should be obtained from a licensed health care professional.
For further questions or comments:
The Nishmat Women's Health and Halacha Site is a public service of Nishmat, The Jeanie Schottenstein Center for Advanced Torah Study for Women. This project and others like it are made possible by contributions from people like you. If you have benefited from the service, and wish to enable us to help others, click here to donate.
Users of Internet filtering services: This site discusses sensitive subjects that some services filter without visual indication. A page that appears 100% complete might actually be missing critical Jewish-law or medical information. To ensure that you view the pages accurately, ask the filtering service to whitelist all pages under yoatzot.org.