US Jewish Groups ‘Lament’ Supreme Court Roe v Wade Reversal
A number of leading US Jewish groups on Friday condemned a Supreme Court decision overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that recognized a constitutional right to an abortion, decrying the step as a reversal of precedent.
B’nai B’rith said Friday morning it “reaffirmed” the organization’s support of “women’s reproductive choice,” noting its past support for abortion access in other cases before the court.
“We lament the loss of federally ensured reproductive choice — guaranteed by Roe v. Wade in 1973 and reaffirmed by Planned Parenthood v. Casey in 1992 — that is now the result of the current Supreme Court’s majority decision striking down these long-standing precedents,” the group declared. “Judaism very clearly puts the rights of a woman ahead of the rights of a fetus in cases where the women’s health is threatened. B’nai B’rith supports the right of women to make decisions regarding their own health.”
The ruling in in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization upheld a Mississippi law banning abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. It paves the way for new restrictions and bans on abortion in states across the country, including in 13 states that already have “trigger laws” on the books to ban abortion upon a reversal of Roe.
The American Jewish Committee said it was “dismayed” by Friday’s decision, which was first tipped in May after the bombshell leak of a draft opinion.
“Overturning abortion access, as numerous states already have, denies individuals health care options consistent with their religious beliefs, including many in the Jewish community, thereby presenting issues of religious freedom and privacy,” the AJC said. “Just as the religious freedom of those whose faith renounces abortion must be protected, we insist on the protection of the religious freedom of those whose faiths would permit the choice of abortion.”
Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization, called the decision an “an attack on American women and their rights to healthcare, privacy and autonomy,” and pledged to advocate for federal and state recourse.
Writing for a 5-4 majority to overturn Roe, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito held that the “constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each State from regulating or prohibiting abortion,” which he called a “profound moral question.” In a separate opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts agreed with the majority that the Mississippi statute should be upheld, but argued against reversing the 1973 ruling.