"whatever Sarah tells you, hearken to her voice" Genesis 21:12
Nowhere in American politics has the language of religion been more misused than in the field of women’s reproductive health. Margaret Sanger’s Brownsville clinic, staffed by Yiddish-speaking nurse Fania Mindell, opened in 1917, advertised in English, Yiddish, and Italian. The clinic was welcomed by long lines of women, eager for information about birth control — and shut down by police on the grounds that distributing such information was “obscene." Years of organizing and litigation finally made reproductive health care fully available to women —and opponents claiming the moral high ground have been trying to shut it down ever since.
For the American Jewish community, women’s health is a deeply felt value. As medical professionals, advocates, and concerned citizens, American Jews have been at the forefront in working to protect women’s health, including access to birth control and abortion. Trusting women to make their own health care decisions, we support policies that maintain the wide range of reproductive options.
We support the constitutional framework of Roe v.Wade, and oppose court decisions such as Hobby Lobby, which said “corporations are persons exercising religion” and thus have the right to deny birth control to their employees. We object to attempts to deny women’s ability to use their own values in making deeply personal decisions; and we will continue to oppose efforts to restrict reproductive health.