Tzarich Iyun: Our Position on Abortion: Pro-Holiness
July 25, 2022

by Rabbi Yehoshua Pfeffer in the Tzarich Iyun

The reversal of the 1973 Roe v. Wade has sent shock waves throughout America. The constitutional right of women to termination of pregnancy, and the corresponding block on states wishing to outlaw abortions during certain periods of pregnancy, have been obvious for decades. Generations have grown up on the simple assumption that a women’s right to decide over her own body is enshrined as part of the constitutional right to privacy. Now, after fifty years, the US Supreme Court has reversed the ruling, deciding that the right to perform an abortion is not included in the US constitution. Reactions, not unexpectedly, have been intense or even unhinged. Thousands took to the street in demonstrations, some violent, against the ruling. Politicians, public figures, state leaders, and cultural icons all felt duty-bound to react, with the overwhelming majority siding against the decision. Nobody could remain impartial.

We must take a different path. With the grace of God, our situation today—certainly in Israel but even abroad—is such that we no longer need to cling to neutrality and pay its ever-spiraling costs. Two Orthodox Jewish groups are worthy of note in this matter: Agudath Israel of America, which lauded the Dobbs decision and ended its statement with a prayer that “the ruling will inspire all Americans to appreciate the moral magnitude of the abortion issue and to embrace a culture that celebrates life,” and the Coalition for Jewish Values that likewise welcomed the decision and emphasized the gravity given to the sanctity of life in Jewish tradition.

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