Today, the Supreme Court of the United States overruled Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision establishing a woman’s constitutional right to abortion. Agudath Israel of America welcomes this historic development.
Agudath Israel has long been on record as opposing Roe v. Wade’s legalization of abortion on demand. Informed by the teaching of Jewish law that fetal life is entitled to significant protection, with termination of pregnancy authorized only under certain extraordinary circumstances, we are deeply troubled by the staggering number of pregnancies in the United States that end in abortion.
We do not seek to impose our religious beliefs on the broader American society. We are of the view, however, that society, through its laws, should promote a social ethic that affirms the supreme value of life. Allowing abortion on demand, in contrast, promotes a social ethic that devalues life.
To be sure, there are certain extraordinary circumstances where our faith teaches that a woman should terminate her pregnancy. Agudath Israel fully supports her right to abortion in such situations, both as a matter of constitutional free exercise and moral principle. However, it must be reiterated that these cases are indeed extraordinary, rare exceptions to the rule that fetal life is entitled to protection.
We pray that today’s ruling will inspire all Americans to appreciate the moral magnitude of the abortion issue, and to embrace a culture that celebrates life.