My experience helping pregnant Texans get abortions is one example of how faith leaders can do our part to protect life: by making abortion accessible.
As a rabbi who lives in Texas, I have long been active in local groups that organize clergy to fight for reproductive rights. Most recently, we have been working to resist SB 8, the Texas law that went into effect September 1 and which bans abortions at six weeks’ gestation, before many people even know they’re pregnant.
A small group has a stranglehold on the story of abortion and faith in this country. They have succeeded in equating religion with opposition to abortion. Judaism teaches something very different. In Judaism, the fetus is considered part of the pregnant person’s body, not independent of it. Abortion is sometimes mandated to save the pregnant person’s life. And according to one key rabbinic ruling, abortion is also permitted to save a pregnant person from “woe.”
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