I was not surprised to hear about the brief that was leaked from the Supreme Court on Monday, but that doesn’t mean I was any less devastated. Okay, maybe I wasn’t surprised that these five Supreme Court Justices were willing to overturn Roe vs. Wade, but I am still in disbelief about what was written in the opinion and the long-term ramifications for women’s health and so much more.
But I am not a lawyer; I am a rabbi, a dedicated Jew, a woman and a mother of a young woman, so I can only speak to the subject of reproductive freedom from my perspective with Jewish values as my guiding principles.
Access to abortion is a Jewish value and essential health care. From the Torah to the Talmud to Maimonides, there is profound support within Jewish sacred texts and scholarly teachings for the right to abortions and for prioritizing the life and wellbeing of the living woman over the rights of a fetus.
The Jewish community overwhelmingly agrees with the need to protect abortion access. Polls show that 80-90 percent of Jewish Americans believe that abortion should be legal in most or all cases.
For a Jewish perspective on abortion, you can read this excerpt on from The Social Justice Jewish Commentary by Rabbis Joshua R. S. Filler and Emily Langowitz; https://ravblog.ccarnet.org/2021/09/abortion-and-reproductive-justice-jewish-perspective/
The Reform Movement, including Reform rabbis, support and defend a person’s right to control their own reproductive health decisions. We believe that all people should be equipped with the information they need to make the choices that are right for them, in consultation with their loved ones and health care providers. The Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) and the Union of Reform Judaism (URJ) have affirmed these rights on record going back to 1967 through multiple resolutions and Reform Responsa (answers to questions about Jewish law).
We have a lot of work to do, and I’m not even sure where to start. I just knew I had to start somewhere so I started here. We hope to provide more Jewish resources and ways to be involved in the future. As someone said to me just this morning, as Jews we have a responsibility to be a “light unto the nations,” to be role models for improving society and lives of individuals, to repair the world.
Kein Yehi Ratzon – May it be God’s Will and our own.
Central Conference of American Rabbis Statement on Draft Supreme Court Opinion Overturning Roe V. Wade, May 3, 2022