February 28, 2022, WASHINGTON - In response to the Senate vote on the Women’s Health Protection Act (H.R. 3755). Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, and Rabbi Marla Feldman, Executive Director of Women of Reform Judaism, released the following statement on behalf of the Union for Reform Judaism, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, Women of Reform Judaism, and the wider Reform Movement institutions:
We thank Majority Leader Schumer and all the senators who voted to advance the Women’s Health Protection Act (H.R. 3755). Although we are disappointed that the cloture vote failed, we will continue to work to enact this vital legislation that would help protect access to abortion by creating federal protections against state restrictions and establishes a right for health care providers to provide, and their patients to receive, abortion services free of restrictions and bans that unnecessarily delay or obstruct access to care.
Rabbi Jonah Pesner: “States have enacted nearly 600 laws restricting abortion access in the last decade, including over 100 laws in 2021 alone. These coordinated attacks disproportionately harm those already facing barriers to quality health care due to structural inequities. A federal solution to the coordinated attacks on abortion access is long-overdue. The Reform Movement remains committed to ensuring the right of every person to make the best reproductive health decisions for their health, their lives, and their futures.”
Rabbi Marla Feldman: “Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ), along with others in the Reform Movement, has been an advocate for reproductive freedom throughout its history, mobilizing our communities to oppose efforts to restrict access to abortion and the full range of reproductive health services that we all deserve. Banning potentially life-saving medical procedures and interfering with a patient’s moral agency through abortion restrictions that are not medically warranted runs contrary to Jewish teachings and infringes upon religious freedom.
In keeping with our history and Jewish tradition, we will continue to fight for a future where all people have dignity and access to the quality care they need, no matter who they are, where they live, their income, or their beliefs.”
The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose 850 congregations across North America encompass 1.8 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 2,000 Reform rabbis. Visit www.RAC.org for more.
Women of Reform Judaism, founded in 1913, is the women’s affiliate of the Union for Reform Judaism, representing tens of thousands of women, strengthening the voice of women worldwide and empowering them to create caring communities, nurture congregations, cultivate personal and spiritual growth, and advocate for and promote progressive Jewish values. Visit www.WRJ.org for more.