Letters to the editor

Letters to the editor

Readers respond

(Photo from Flash90)
(Photo from Flash90)

Abortion access for all should be safeguarded
The GPRA condemns the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, which will result in a loss of access to abortion and reproductive health care for women and pregnant persons across our nation.

The Jewish tradition holds that the health and bodily autonomy as well as the mental and physical health of pregnant persons supersede that of a potential life. This Supreme Court decision will furthermore endanger the lives of IVF patients, victims of rape and incest, and individuals in need of obstetric care for miscarriages or ectopic pregnancies, to name a few. This legal decision also opens the possibility of prosecution of health care providers for the “crime” of saving lives, thereby undercutting the supreme Jewish value of pikuach nefesh (saving a life).

Jewish law allows for abortion in cases where the mother’s physical or mental health is endangered. While rabbis and scholars vary on how they interpret this, it is clear that the government’s prohibition of abortion would result in a violation of the free exercise of religion enshrined in the First Amendment.

We support the right of pregnant persons to be guided by medical advice and religious teachings, without fear of being criminalized for the difficult decisions they make. Without Roe v. Wade, the religious freedom, bodily autonomy and equality under the law for pregnant persons have been summarily stripped away. We call upon the legislators of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and across our nation to safeguard abortion access for all.

Greater Pittsburgh Rabbinic Association

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