Nishmat's Women’s Health and HalachaIn memory of Chaya Mirel bat R' Avraham

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Corona: Conception and contraception

6 July, 2020

Question:

Hi. I hope you are all well.

We are a family with 4 daughters BAH. We were thinking of trying for another child shortly. However, due to the current pandemic, our local GP doctor told us that, as there is very little known about Covid 19 and its effect on pregnant women, it is advised to wait a little longer to see how things progress. What is the general halacha in relation to holding off the mitzva of Peru Urevu? What do the current Poskim and Orthodox doctors advise couples/families in similar predicament? Our GP is not Jewish so doesn’t fully understand the Jewish stance on this.

Many thanks, and thank you for an excellent and informative website.


Answer:

Halacha follows medical consensus on this type of issue. To date, it has not been established that Covid-19 poses a special risk to fetuses or to pregnant women. At the same time, it has not been established that it does not.

For that reason, a couple who wish to conceive at this stage are halachically permitted to do so.

At the same time, your physician’s suggestion is reasonable. Rav Yehuda Henkin, our site’s rabbinic supervisor, permits couples  with concerns about conceiving during the pandemic to use contraception until there is more information about potential risks. This includes couples who have not yet fulfilled the mitzva of having children.

In short, this is a decision that halacha leaves room for couples to make for themselves, under the guidance of their health care providers.

Please let us know if we can be of further assistance.


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