Reform Movement Leaders Deplore New Texas Anti-Abortion Law

New York, September 1, 2021 – In response to a new Texas anti-abortion law that came into effect today, leaders of Reform Jewish Movement institutions issued the following statement:

We denounce, in the strongest terms, the law that went into effect today in Texas, effectively making abortion care illegal in that state. In the most insidious state abortion restriction adopted to date, this Texas law makes abortion illegal as early as six weeks, before many are even aware that they are pregnant. The law is manipulatively designed to thwart courts’ ability to protect reproductive freedom, prohibiting state officials from enforcing the law but empowering any Texan to sue any person—an abortion provider, a counselor, a member of the clergy, a clinic worker, even a driver who delivers a person to a clinic, to name a few examples—who assists in accessing abortion care. For this reason, many Texas clinics are now unable to provide abortion care at all, as they are understandably unwilling to place their workers at intolerable risk from potentially ruinous lawsuits enabled by this Texas law.

We are concerned about individuals who cannot afford to travel long distances to secure abortion care in neighboring states. We are also deeply concerned about Jews who will be unable to pursue an abortion in keeping with Jewish law, which mandates abortion when necessary to preserve the pregnant person’s wellbeing. With respect to Judaism’s own limited approval of abortion: ‘as we would not impose the historic position of Jewish teaching upon individuals nor legislate it as normative for society at large, so we would not wish the position of any other group imposed upon the Jewish community or the general population.’” We also ground ourselves in kavod ha’briyot—the sacred obligation to provide medical care.

We will continue to work to overturn this law, prevent similar laws from being adopted in other states, and affirm the right of every person to make their own reproductive health decisions.

Central Conference of American Rabbis

Rabbi Lewis Kamrass

Rabbi Hara E. Person
Chief Executive

Union for Reform Judaism

Jennifer Brodkey Kaufman

Rabbi Rick Jacobs

Commission on Social Action and Religious Action Center

Susan Friedberg Kalson

Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner

Women of Reform Judaism

Sara Charney

Rabbi Marla J. Feldman
Executive Director

Women’s Rabbinic Network

Rabbi Beth Klafter
Rabbi Emily Segal

Rabbi Mary Zamore
Executive Director

American Conference of Cantors

Cantor Claire Franco

Rachel Roth
Chief Operating Officer

NFTY, the Reform Jewish Youth Movement

Lev Mosbacher

Lynne Butner
Director of NFTY Engagement

Reform Pension Board

Leonard Teitelbaum

Michael A. Kimmel
Chief Executive Officer

Program & Engagement Professionals of Reform Judaism

Jason Plotkin

Association of Reform Jewish Educators

Marisa Kaiser

Rabbi Stanley T. Schickler
Executive Director

Men of Reform Judaism

Rob Himmelstein

Steven Portnoy
Executive Director

National Association for Temple Administration

Jack Feldman

Michael Liepman
Executive Director

Early Childhood Educators of Reform Judaism

Fern Katz

Tricia Ginis
Executive Director

National Association of Retired Reform Rabbis

Sheldon Harr

Julian and Susie Cook
Co-Executive Vice Presidents