56th General Assembly December 1981 Boston, Massachusetts
FREE CHOICE IN ABORTION
It has been the longstanding position of the UAHC, which we again state, to affirm the legal right of a woman to exercise her moral and religious conscience regarding abortion. Our tradition has always upheld the sacredness of life. Similarly, it has upheld the sacredness of the body.
In light of the fierce and increasing campaign in America to deny freedom of choice regarding abortion,
Reaffirm our strong support for the right of a woman to obtain a legal abortion in accordance with the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade
and Doe v. Bolton.
Oppose those constitutional amendments and bills introduced in the Congress and state legislatures which would undermine a woman's constitutional right to choose abortion by declaring a fetus to be a person with rights, subject to equal protection under the constitution. Such a definition of the origin of human life is incompatible with the teachings of Judaism. Moreover, the practical consequences of such a definition could go much further than merely reversing the 1973 Supreme Court decisions. Certain forms of birth control could be outlawed and the termination of pregnancy could constitute an act of homicide, subject to the charge of murder or manslaughter.
Express deep alarm at the successful moves in Congress and state legislatures to disallow funding for poor women to receive medically necessary abortions and oppose proposed moves to reduce funding for and prohibit genetic screening to detect defects in fetal development. Such actions would compel a woman to carry every pregnancy to term regardless of the consequences to her physical and psychological health. We are opposed to such restrictions as oppressive to women. Forcing women to bear children at any cost also threatens the stability of the family.
Oppose any legislation that would deny the federal courts' jurisdiction over abortion issues. Such laws would undermine our constitutional structure. We oppose the procedure and the substance of such legislation that would eliminate the uniform protection of constitutional rights throughout the nation.
Continue to affirm the legal right of a woman to act in accordance with the moral and religious dictates of her conscience with respect to abortion.