Since 2011 , more than 600 state laws have been enacted to restrict abortion access, including mandatory waiting periods, parental consent laws, biased counseling, gestational bans, and targeted regulation of abortion providers (TRAP) laws. In 2022 alone, 541 abortion restrictions have been introduced across the country, with Oklahoma’s governor signing a total abortion ban into law and trigger bans that will already take effect within the month. As a result of these laws, patients and providers risk criminalization, hundreds of clinics have been forced to close, providers are denied the ability to provide necessary medical procedures, and patients are unable to obtain the health care services they need.
On June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court ruled in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, overturning Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, leaving abortion rights up to the states. Your state legislatures have the power to protect abortion access through legislation, ballot initiatives, and more. Urge your Governor and state legislators to protect and expand abortion rights.
In Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey—the decisions that affirmed that everyone has autonomy over their bodies and has the right to decide whether they want to continue a pregnancy—and the fundamental right to live with autonomy, dignity, and equality.
This decision will cause irreparable harm to Americans. Overturning Roe means 26 states are likely to ban abortion, including 13 states with laws that will immediately go into effect. Even before the US Supreme Court ruled on Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban at issue in Dobbs, anti-abortion policymakers preemptively flooded statehouses with restrictive bills in hopes that federal protections for abortion rights would soon be gone.
We must pursue proactive policies that protect abortion in the states. Take action and urge your Governor and state legislators to protect and expand abortion rights.
Life is sacred in Judaism. Banning potentially life-saving medical procedures and interfering with a patient’s decision-making and moral agency runs contrary to the Jewish commandment to protect life. This belief, combined with biblical and rabbinic emphasis on human dignity, has led the Reform Movement to view the life of the pregnant individual as paramount, placing a stronger emphasis on protecting existing life than on potential life (Exodus 21:22-23).
Furthermore, the rabbis tell us that a physician’s job is to heal, and if they withhold medical care, it is as if they have shed blood. “The Torah has granted the physician permission to heal, and it is a religious duty which comes under the rule of saving an endangered life. If he withholds treatment, he is regarded as one who sheds blood” (Shulchan Arukh, Yoreh De’ah 336:1). Regressive state laws that prevent physicians and other providers from providing health care are in direct opposition to this sacred duty.