Corona: Conception and contraception
6 July, 2020
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.
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.
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.