Pelavin: While we wish that all young people are raised in loving and supportive homes and neighborhoods, that is tragically not always so. We should not add to the burden some young women face by enacting this harmful legislation.
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Washington DC, July 26 - In response to the passage of the Child Custody Protection Act, Mark J. Pelavin, Associate Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:
We are deeply disappointed by the Senate passage of the Child Custody Protection Act, which makes it a federal crime to knowingly transport a minor across a state line to obtain an abortion if that minor had not met the requirements for parental involvement in her state of residence.
To fine or imprison a grandmother, clergy member, or teacher who assists a minor in obtaining needed reproductive health services fails to recognize the importance of family members and other trusted adults in a young woman’s life. This is especially true if her relationship with her parents is abusive or dysfunctional. With so many states having already adopted laws mandating parental notice and consent, this harmful bill further threatens women’s health and well-being. While we wish that all young people are raised in loving and supportive homes and neighborhoods, that is tragically not always so. We should not add to the burden some young women face by enacting this harmful legislation.
The Reform Jewish Movement has long viewed abortion as a deeply personal issue, and firmly believes that women are capable of making moral decisions. A woman has the right to decide whether or when to have a child according to her own beliefs and in consultation with her clergy, her family, and her doctor; politicians should not make the decision for her. And yet this pernicious bill does just that. This shameful legislation fails young women: our daughters, our sisters, our friends.
The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more than 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 1800 Reform rabbis.