December 20, 2014 · 28 Kislev

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Position of the Reform Jewish Movement

The Union for Reform Judaism passed very important policy in 1997 entitled "Breat Cancer, Genetic Testing, and Health Insurance Discrimination."Following in the footsteps of Women of Reform Judaism's1995 resolution entitled, "Medical Research and Clinical Practice," the Reform Movement recognizes that in the United States today, breast cancer is the leading cause of death for women under 50. One in every eight women will contract breast cancer in her lifetime, a dramatic increase from one in every twenty women only twenty years ago.

This staggering growth has the scientific and medical communities desperately looking for causes, cures, and methods of early detection. New information about genetic patterns that are related to breast and ovarian cancer, though not conclusive, has the potential to be of great help to women in the fight against cancer. However, genetic testing creates a significant risk of discrimination by health insurance carriers. Health insurance carriers are aware that individuals with a genetic predisposition to a particular disease may be more likely to develop the disease. Women with such genetic predisposition's may face termination of their medical insurance or, at the very least, higher premiums and coverage discrimination from insurance carriers. We have seen this before, as President Clinton reminded us in his July 1997 address on the subject, when in the 1970s African Americans predisposed to sickle-cell anemia faced health insurance discrimination.



Resolution on Women's Health Care Issues (1992)
Resolution on Women's Health (1993)
Resolution on International Women's Rights (1994)
Resolution on Breast Cancer, Genetic Testing, and Health Insurance Discrimination (1997)
Resolution on State Restrictions on Access to Reproductive Health Services (2008)

Resolution on Free Choice in Abortion (1981)
Resolution on Women's Health (1993)
Resolution on Breast Cancer, Genetic Testing, and Health Insuracne Discrimination (1997)

Resolution on Women's Health Care (1991)
Resolution on Rights of Women and Girl Children Worldwide (2000)

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