Another judge is to be appointed to the Supreme Court in America. Brett Kavanaugh has the nomination. There is much ado about his views on abortion.
The Jewish women who so proudly stand with Planned Parenthood are sadly unaware of the history of our people and Planned Parenthood.
Jews do not stand with Planned Parenthood nor it’s spokespeople like Linda Sarsour, and Elizabeth Warren, Hillary Clinton: quoted as saying that “the fetus has no constitutional rights“ and is in favor of late term abortions.Nor do Jews stand with Hollywood hot shots and liberal mavens, and that includes Michelle Wolf who proclaimed, “Women, don’t forget you have the power to give life, and men will try to control that. Don’t let them!” During “The Break’s 10th Annual Salute to Abortion” she added that abortion should be added to the dollar menu at McDonald’s.
Too many Jewish women have lost their connection to the sanctity of life in this secularized, Progressive world. To stand with Planned Parenthood is to stand with an organization that values organ harvesting over life: Is the fetus really dead? Has the heart stopped beating?
And an organization that brings pain to the fetus to preserve the organs they will be selling. Here is a link to 12 videos about harvesting fetal baby parts.
To stand with Planned Parenthood is to stand with those, far too many, who do not value life. It is to stand with cultures that still sacrifice their children.
True, pregnancy, for all of our modern medicine, can endanger a woman’s life. To demand that a woman continue to bear a child, to deny her the right to a legal abortion, could push her to a backroom butcher and the possibility of two deaths—hers and the fetus. Thankfully, pregnant women in the West have the lowest maternal mortality rates in the world because of the first class medical care.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, more than 685,000 abortions have been performed in the USA since January 2015, approximately 33,000 were performed after 4 months gestation, approximately 6600 as the result of rape or incest. And more than 17,000,000 black babies have been aborted since 1973. The good news is that although 1.06 million abortions were performed in 2011, it’s down from 1.21 million abortions in 2008, a decline of 13%. In America about 650 women die each year as a result of pregnancy or delivery complications.
It is time for our Jewish women to wake up to the miracle of Judaism and life. Judaism teaches that abortion is legal but immoral. It is the last option you choose.
The Jewish people introduced the very idea that all life is sacred, that we are all born with equal intrinsic value 3500 years ago: no people is better than another; no people is superior to another; no person more valuable than another.
This is the sanctity of life. That means that you cannot cut off hands and feet for punishment. And, no, we do not give birth in the hope that our children will be martyrs for a cause. The Palestinian Authority is promoting a song in which mothers are taught to see their unborn fetus as a future “Martyr for Palestine.”
We, the Jewish people, hold life that sacred that we worry about animals. Deut 22:6: “If, along the road, you chance upon a bird’s nest, in any tree or on the ground, with fledglings or eggs and the mother sitting over the fledglings or on the eggs, do not take the mother together with her young.” Lev 22:28: “Regarding an ox or a sheep, you shall not slaughter it together with its young on the same day.” We give animals a day of rest. How many of these Jewish women standing with Planned Parenthood stand also with PETA and the ASPCA who care for animals? How do they square that circle?
Let’s talk about abortion from the Jewish perspective. It is not a black and white issue.
The Jewish people gave us the ethic that makes us think about both the mother and the fetus because it is an ethic that balances rights with responsibilities rather than a “self-regarding all about me ethic.” It is ethical monotheism, the Jewish ethic that makes it possible for us to have a discussion about abortion that balances the rights of the mother with the rights of the potential life.
If a pregnant woman’s life is endangered unless the pregnancy is terminated, “her life takes precedence over [the fetus’s] life.” As a society, we would be morally guilty of standing by while her blood is shed. Forcing a woman to carry to term can also conflict with the commandment to “choose life; for you and your descendants” (Deuteronomy 30:19), if this pregnancy negatively affects her health to the point that her death is possible. This ethical system based on the sanctity of life is reflected in the secular world with the teachings of Immanuel Kant and his categorical imperative.
While the Jewish people begin with the sanctity of all life there are those who believe in quality of life. “Happiness.” I compared these two approaches in my book, Back to the Ethic: Reclaiming Western Values: “Joseph Fletcher wrote in The Ethics of Genetic Control, ‘The world no longer needs all the individuals we are capable of bringing into it—especially those who are unable to compete and are an unhappy burden to others. If the size of our families must be limited, surely we are entitled to children who are healthy rather than defective.’ In this view, the definition of human changes: now it is based merely on each individual’s definition of healthy and defective. Brown eyes might be considered defective to one person. A girl might be considered defective to another. Then there are those who argue that ‘humans are no different in any essential moral respect from other animals.’ Once we take away anything sacred about human beings, it is so much easier to rid ourselves of those not acceptable to the ideal of our particular generation.”
Iceland is removing humans who do not fit the ideal. Since prenatal screening tests were introduced in Iceland in the early 2000s, the vast majority of women — close to 100 percent — who received a positive test for Down syndrome terminated their pregnancy. Who’s next? Autistic children? Children with physical and mental challenges?
Rabbi Jonathan Sacks writes,
“If everyone is free to do what they like, the result will be freedom for the strong but not the weak, the rich but not the poor, the powerful but not the powerless. A free society requires restraint and the rule of law. There is such a thing as a constitution of liberty. That is what the Israelites acquired at Mount Sinai in the form of the covenant.”
Many years ago, when I represented the chaplaincy department of my hospital on the obstetrics/gynecology ethics committee, we were presented with the case of a woman who had received assistance to become pregnant. An ultrasound revealed that two fetuses had implanted. She decided that she only wanted one child. Just one. So she underwent a selective abortion as if she were returning an unwanted pair of jeans.
And this value system should scare all Jews. For we have been targeted for death for the crime of being Jewish; for not accepting Jesus as the Messiah, for refusing to accept Allah.
We must not stand with those who prioritize unfettered abortion. It is a slippery slope that has already slipped. We already accept sex-selection abortion leading to femicide!
We, the Jewish people, are the messengers of the sanctity of life. All life. We must never forget.
From the Ethics of the Fathers: “Rabbi Tarfon used to say, it is not incumbent upon you to complete the task, but you are not exempt from undertaking it.”