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Washington, D.C., June 27, 2016 – In response to the Supreme Court’s 5-3 decision today in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, released the following statement:
“We applaud the Supreme Court’s decision today in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt striking down Texas’s unnecessarily burdensome and medically inaccurate provisions that aimed to restrict access to abortion. This historic decision ensures that women in Texas and across the United States face fewer barriers to receiving legal healthcare services.
Jewish tradition teaches the importance of a woman’s ability to make her own healthcare decisions. That principle is as true today as it was in Medieval times when Jewish physician and philosopher Maimonides wrote that, “Women are commanded to care for the health and well-being of their bodies above all else.” These lessons continue to inspire us today and we are proud that the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis joined the Religious Institute’s amicus brief and that Women of Reform Judaism joined the National Women’s Law Center amicus brief, both on the side of Whole Woman’s Health and women’s access to reproductive health care.
We remain steadfast in our commitment to protecting abortion access for all women, irrespective of income, race, or geography. All women must be able to obtain safe, legal and affordable abortion as a core element of reproductive rights and women’s equality. We are pleased that today’s Supreme Court decision brings us closer to that reality."
The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose nearly 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 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.