WRJ has been a leading advocate for reproductive rights and health and will continue to oppose state and federal restrictions that limit access to birth control and safe abortion services. WRJ watches Supreme Court nominations closely for threats to the constitutional protections outlined in Roe V. Wade.
Life is sacred in Judaism. Banning potentially lifesaving medical procedures and interfering with a doctor’s decision-making runs contrary to the Jewish commandment to protect life. This cohort brings together Jewish communities to pursue reproductive health and rights together.
For over 85 years, WRJ has been a leading advocate for reproductive rights and health. In adopting more than a dozen resolutions affirming a strong and vocal stance and mobilizing its members, WRJ speaks out for the rights of those who are pregnant to exercise moral authority over their own bodies. WRJ was among the first in our Movement to call for access to information about contraception in 1935 and abortion reform in 1965. On the issue of abortion, WRJ stated: “We believe that the right to choose on the matter of abortions is a personal decision based on religious, moral, or cultural values and beliefs; it should not be determined for others by special interest groups whether religious or otherwise nor should the government be the enforcing agency for their points of view” (Women’s Rights, 1977).
This resource guide is intended to help Reform sisterhoods, congregations, and individuals mobilize and advocate for reproductive health and rights in their own communities. The suggested list of actions below was written to help kickstart your communities’ advocacy around reproductive issues.
- Reproductive Health and Rights through Jewish Text - Jewish text and tradition have much to offer the reproductive justice conversation. Download and discuss this document with your Reform Jewish congregation or community.
The actions below serve as a guide or starting point. After determining with your community where your priorities lie, feel free to think creatively about the types of actions you would like to take.
- Abortion Access - Recently, we have witnessed unprecedented efforts by states throughout the U.S. to severely restrict or ban abortion. While the overall number of anti-abortion bills introduced in U.S. states thus far in 2019 is essentially the same as in 2018, the nature of the recent bills is more harmful and restrictive than anything introduced previously.
- Comprehensive Sex Education - Comprehensive sex education includes information about sex, sexuality, relationships, contraception, and condoms. Sex education is directly linked to reproductive justice. Without it, individuals cannot make informed decisions about their bodies, sexual activity, or futures.
Family Planning & Contraceptives - Access to affordable family planning services is a critical component of our reproductive health and rights advocacy, as access to these services equips individuals with the necessary tools to shape their lives and futures. Family planning can reduce maternal mortality by preventing unwanted pregnancies, protect the health of children by allowing sufficient time between pregnancies, and help stabilize population growth.
Resolutions & Statements
1991: Women's Health Care
1989: Reproductive Rights
1981: Women's Rights
1979: Women's Rights
1977: Women's Rights
1965: Judaism and the Family
2014: Roe v. Wade Anniversary