The Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association and Reconstructing Judaism are deeply dismayed to learn of the leaked draft opinion of the Supreme Court indicating that Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision guaranteeing the right to an abortion, will be overturned imminently.
Although this majority opinion has been leaked in draft form, we must face the reality that the hard-fought right for women and other pregnant people to choose whether to bear a child is almost certainly ending as national law.
The Reconstructionist movement has long held that the choice to end a pregnancy must remain in the hands of pregnant individuals in consultation with their doctors, loved ones and religious advisors. Jewish tradition itself not only permits, but sometimes requires the ending of a pregnancy when the pregnant individual’s life and wellbeing are in jeopardy. We understand access to abortion services to be an an issue of religious freedom as well as individual liberty.
The consequences of this impending Supreme Court decision will be swift and devastating for communities nationwide: Overturning Roe means 26 states could swiftly move to ban abortion–including 13 states with”trigger” laws that will immediately go into effect. That means in half the country people would no longer have power over their own bodies and their own lives. Thirty-six million women — nearly half of the women of reproductive age (18-49) in the United States — plus other people who can become pregnant could soon lose abortion access.
We know the harms that will come from this decision, because we’ve seen them play out in Texas: People who do not have access to the financial resources and support they need to travel out of state are forced to carry pregnancies or flee their state to seek dangerous abortions outside of the health care system. We also know that this will disproportionately impact BIPOC folks, poor folks, and LGBTQIA+ folks.
Regardless of the Court’s ultimate decision, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association and Reconstructing Judaism remain steadfastly committed to advocating for reproductive freedom and the principle that abortion care is medical care and a basic human right. We will continue to support efforts to ensure that this right is codified and protected by legislation, within federal law as well as at the state level, and to support efforts to assure that all of those who require abortion services and other reproductive medical care can access that care safely. We will urge all of our affiliated communities to do the same.
We invite you to join us at The Jewish Rally for Abortion Justice on Capitol Hill on May 17th where we will be joining our partners in sending a powerful message that abortion access is rooted within Jewish values, plain and simple, and we are committed to fighting to ensure a just future. With so much at stake for abortion access and reproductive justice, it’s more important than ever for Jewish people and allies to join forces and build collective power for change.