Reproductive Health & Rights

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.

Thank you to our donors who make this work possible.

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Jewish Values

Action Opportunities

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 & ContraceptivesAccess 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.

  • Watch our webinar recording about the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court case regarding abortion.

Resolutions & Statements

2014: In the Balance: Religious Liberty and Individual Rights

2011: Issues in Reproductive Rights and Health

2005: Scientific Integrity (Advocacy Guide) (Resolution)

1995: Medical Research and Clinical Practice 

1991: Women's Health Care

1990: Research on Reproductive Health Care

1989: Reproductive Rights

1987: Social and Economic Justice 

1981: Women's Rights

1979: Women's Rights

1977: Women's Rights

1965: Judaism and the Family

1945: Child and Maternal Welfare

1935: Birth Control Literature
 

Advocacy Alerts

2014: Hobby Lobby SCOTUS Decision

2014: Board Statements: Nigerian Girls Kidnapping, Hobby Lobby

2014: Hobby Lobby SCOTUS Oral Arguments

2014: Roe v. Wade Anniversary

2013: Contraception Coverage, Gun Violence Prevention

2013: Reproductive Rights and Immigration Reform

2013: Emergency Contraception Access, ERA

2013: Health Care for Military Women, Sports for Israeli Girls

2013: Emergency Contraception, Equal Pay Day, and Consultation on Conscience

2013: Roe v. Wade, Immigration Reform, WRJ in the News

2013: Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence, Doing Justly, Roe v. Wade Anniversary

2013: Violence Against Women Act, NDAA, Roe v. Wade Anniversary

2012: Reform Movement Speaks Out About Israel, Abortion Access for Military Women, Fiscal Cliff

2012: Support Israel from Home, Montreal's First Jewish Mayor, Native American Women

2012: Post-Election Webinar, Coalition Against Religious Discrimination, Protecting Contraception Access

2012: Sukkot, Paycheck Fairness, and Supporting Our Servicewomen

2012: Social Action Project Ideas, Eradicate Obstetric Fistula Worldwide

2012: Joplin Fire and Sikh Temple Shooting, Take Ammunition Off Our Streets, Personhood

2012: Family Planning, Reproductive Rights for Servicewomen, VAWA

2012: Or Ami Awardees Continued, Reminder: Help End Childhood Hunger

2012: Health Care Coverage for Birth Control

2012: Breaking News: WRJ/RAC Respond to Komen Reversal

2012: Reform Movement Response to Komen for the Cure's Defunding of Planned Parenthood Federation of America

2012: Access to Reproductive Health and Rights: Roe v. Wade at 39

2011: WRJ Board Issues Statement on Reproductive Rights, Deadly Storm Ravages Joplin, MO

2011: Rabbi Jacobs Speaks at Consultation, CSA Chair on HR 3

2011: Take Action: Help Prevent Obstetric Fistula

2011: Women's Health Advocacy, IRAC Food Drive for the Spring Holidays, Pesach Resources for Jews in the Military

2011: Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan, Conference Call with the President of Planned Parenthood

2011: New Breast Cancer Study, Protect Reproductive Health Services, Housing on the Gulf Coast

2011: Threats to Roe v. Wade: Act Now

2010: WRJ Work on Maternal Death and Fistula Featured at Religions for Peace Multi-Religious Forum

2010: Unemployment Benefits, Gender Wage Gap, Reproductive Rights

2010: Maternal Health and Fistula: An Important New Program

2010: Ban on Reproductive Health Coverage, Rotem Conversion Bill, Child Nutrition Reauthorization

2010: Cancel Super Bowl Anti-Abortion Ad, Funds for Haiti and Long Term Relief, Haiti Update

2010: New Breast Self-Exam Shower Cards Available, Program Suggestions for Sisterhoods