Yogananda’s Views on Abortion


What was Paramahansa Yogananda’s view regarding abortion in the cases of incest or rape? And his view on fertilized eggs?

—Joanna, Lebanon


Dear Joanna,

I never found any written or spoken words from Yogananda, in which he addressed the subject of abortion directly, either in general or in cases of incest or rape.

He did clearly state that the soul (that part of every human being, which is immortal and which lives again and again through many lifetimes and in many bodies, by the laws of karma and reincarnation) enters the human body at the moment of conception (that is, at the moment when the sperm and egg first come together).

He said that in that exact moment, there is a flash of light in the astral world and one of the many souls waiting to reincarnate, the soul that is best matched to the parents and life circumstances according to the karmic needs of the soul, enters the fertilized egg and begins to develop into a human being, from that point onward.

I have heard people ask Swami Kriyananda the same questions you are asking. He recommended that a woman not resort to abortion, if at all possible, for the reason that the embryo is thus denied its right and desire to live. A human life is a very precious gift and should be cherished and protected! But he did say that exceptions to this could include both rape and when a woman’s life is at risk.

I also know that Swami Kriyananda and Paramhansa Yogananda were both very compassionate and understanding souls and would never condemn a woman for making such a decision. We have all made many mistakes or unwise decisions, but God is ever-loving and forgiving, no matter what we do.