JSPAN Supports A Woman's Right to Choose

JSPAN POLICY PAPER - January 2004 Thirty years after the Supreme Court's historic decision in Roe v. Wade, forces in Washington are stubbornly chipping away at that decision. Anti-choice leaders hold the balance of political power in Washington. Quietly but consistently, they are using that power to circumscribe a woman's right to personal privacy. Pending in the Senate is the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, which would recognize a fetus as a separate person that can be an independent victim of a crime - with legal rights equal to, and separate from, those of a woman. The Administration's CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Program) regulations make the embryo - but not the pregnant woman - eligible for health care coverage. And when the President signs the so-called "Partial Birth Abortion Bill" he will become the first President to criminalize a safe abortion procedure. President Bush has signed nine executive orders targeted at a woman's right to choose. Virtually all of his 43 nominees to the federal bench oppose abortion. All three of his federal budgets have attacked family planning and attempted to restrict abortion. Accurate information about abortion and family planning has been removed from government Web sites. Congress - with both houses led by politicians who want to ban abortion - has voted 19 times to restrict a woman's right to choose since January, 2001. The most significant Supreme Court cases regarding a woman's right to choose have been decided by a razor-slim 5-4 margin. The implications are clear: if even one Justice were to change, the balance on the Supreme Court could shift The President has pledged to fill any vacancies with jurists in the mold of Antonin Scalia, who fiercely opposes Roe and dismisses any notion of a right to privacy. A woman's right to choose is an important issue to Jews. As a minority in a Christian society, Jews cannot sit idly by and allow laws to be set on someone else's theocracy. Issues about which the sectarian world knows little if anything such as when an embryo becomes a human life or what is God must be left to individuals to decide base upon their own beliefs. Anti-choice laws are just another example of the line between church and state being blurred, a trend the American Jews cannot allow to continue. Our position: The perilous state of a woman's right to choose is clear. It must be protected.
  • We will fight for the appointment and election of judges who recognize women's rights.
  • We will link with national and local choice organizations to multiply our voices.
  • We will urge our representatives to oppose legislation that seeks to circumscribe a woman's right to choose and to create legislation to ensure the right to choose.
JSPAN will alert you to threats to women's rights and will show you how to be heard on this vital issue.