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May 3, 2022 12:24 pm
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Jewish Women’s Groups Speak Up for Abortion Rights Following Shock Leak of Supreme Court Roe v Wade Opinion

avatar by Algemeiner Staff

Pro and anti-choice demonstrators clash outside the Supreme Court in Washington, DC. Photo: Reuters/Evelyn Hockstein

A number of Jewish women’s groups on Tuesday sharply condemned a draft Supreme Court majority opinion that would overturn its landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling on abortion laws.

In a statement, Hadassah, the women’s Zionist organization, described the draft, which was leaked to Politico, “as an attack on women’s autonomy, freedom and health.”

The Hadassah statement argued that when “a woman’s right to choose is limited, we also limit her right to safe, informed medical decisions and procedures. If enacted, this decision will have a disproportionate impact on the empowerment, economic equity and security of women in underserved communities.”

The statement reaffirmed Hadassah’s “unwavering support for full and complete access to reproductive health services and a woman’s right to make health decisions according to her own religious, moral and ethical values.”

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The draft, written by Justice Samuel Alito, was reportedly circulated in February and has not yet been verified as genuine. The opinion in the present case before the court — based on a disputed Mississippi law that would prevent abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy even in cases of rape or incest — is not expected to be published until late June.

The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) also voiced its concern, declaring on its Twitter feed: “Abortion access is a Jewish value — and the majority opinion.” The NCJW also announced that it will stage a “Jewish Rally for Abortion Justice” in Washington, DC, on May 17. A number of other Jewish groups are backing the rally, including the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, the Jewish feminist organization Zioness and the progressive advocacy organization Bend The Arc.

Separately, US President Joe Biden weighed into the Roe v. Wade controversy on Tuesday, declaring that “a woman’s right to choose is fundamental.”

“Roe has been the law of the land for almost fifty years, and basic fairness and the stability of our law demand that it not be overturned,” he said in an official statement. Biden added that if the Supreme Court did overturn the ruling, “it will fall on our nation’s elected officials at all levels of government to protect a woman’s right to choose. And it will fall on voters to elect pro-choice officials this November.”

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