On Monday, June 6, Vice President Kamala Harris held an on-the-record roundtable in Los Angeles, California with faith leaders to discuss some of the most urgent challenges facing abortion access and reproductive rights in the United States.
National Council of Jewish Women was proud to send Claire Lipschultz, NCJW board director and NCJW California state policy advocate, and Rabbi Dara Frimmer, NCJW Rabbi for Repro and Temple Isaiah senior rabbi, to this important conversation and make it clear that abortion access is a Jewish value and banning abortion violates religious freedom.
The Supreme Court’s impending decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization will be released any day now, and, according to the Vice President, could “undo the very principles and premise of the importance of privacy, the right that Roe v. Wade stands for,” per last month’s leaked draft decision.
“Basically, the premise of Roe and the power of Roe is that it is about saying that people should have the right to make decisions about their own bodies — that women should have that right and have unfettered access to reproductive healthcare.” – Vice President Kamala Harris
Attending the meeting alongside the NCJW representatives named above were faith leaders from a variety of backgrounds, including Sikh, Muslim, and Christian. See the full list here.
The Vice President affirmed that faith leaders are essential partners to the Administration and that she looks forward to continuing to work with them to build coalitions across faiths.
“We want to offer you and our country a new conversation, Rabbi Frimmer said. “One that is actually representative of the majority of faith leaders and our congregants, who believe in dignity, compassion, and access to abortion.”
“Judaism not only permits abortion but, sometimes, to protect the life of the mother, our tradition commands it. This isn’t a new idea. This is from the Torah and the Talmud, sacred scripture, thousands of years old, which continue to inform us and guide us in our modern day lives, helping us to practice our Jewish faith and express our Jewish values.” – Rabbi Dara Frimmer