Reform Leader Honors 39th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Calls for Change
Kaufman: "As we honor the 39th anniversary of the Roe decision, we remain mindful of the continuing need to safeguard these basic fundamental rights on both the national and state levels."
WASHINGTON, D.C., January 23, 2012 -- In honor of the 39th anniversary of the Supreme Court case, Roe v. Wade, Jennifer Brodkey Kaufman, Chair of the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:
"39 years ago, the Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade guaranteed a woman's right to privacy and affirmed her right to make her own reproductive decisions. Today, we take a moment to remember those generations of women and men who fought so hard to ensure the reproductive health and rights of American women and families and to recommit ourselves to the work ahead that will ensure these rights remain for future generations. Let us also remember the need for the full range of reproductive rights - including the right to a safe and affordable abortion, the right to comprehensive sexuality education, and the right to accessible and affordable contraception.
The past year saw a sharp increase in attacks on access to abortion services; states enacted 135 new laws restricting abortion services (an increase from 89 in 2010). At the same time, we are heartened by the defeat of initiatives, such as that in Mississippi, that sought to define a developing fetus as a person, thereby restricting women's rights.
The Jewish beliefs in freedom to choose, the preservation of health and life, and the right of women to make fundamental personal decisions lie at the root of our understanding that abortion is sometimes the right decision for a woman to make. Choices regarding one's own reproductive health are intensely personal, and that is why the Reform Movement has long championed reproductive freedom and rejects any suggestion that women are incapable of making independent moral judgments.
As we honor the 39th anniversary of the Roe decision, we remain mindful of the continuing need to safeguard these basic fundamental rights on both the national and state levels."