53rd General Assembly
The UAHC reaffirms its strong support for the right of a woman to obtain a legal abortion on the constitutional grounds enunciated by the Supreme Court in its 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 and Doe v. Boston, 410 U.S. 179, which prohibit all governmental interference in abortion during the first trimester and permit only those regulations that safeguard the health of the woman during the second trimester. This rule is a sound and enlightened position on this sensitive and difficult issue, and we express our confidence in the ability of the woman to exercise her ethical and religious judgment in making her decision.
The Supreme Court held that the question of when life begins is a matter of religious belief and not medical or legal fact. While recognizing the right of religious groups whose beliefs differ from ours to follow the dictates of their faith in this matter, we vigorously oppose the attempts to legislate the particular beliefs of those groups into the law that governs us all. This is a clear violation of the First Amendment. Furthermore, it may undermine the development of interfaith activities. Mutual respect and tolerance must remain the foundation of interreligious relations.
We oppose those riders and amendments to other bills aimed at halting Medicaid, legal counseling, and family services in abortion-related activities. These restrictions severely discriminate against and penalize the poor, who rely on governmental assistance to obtain the proper medical care to which they are legally entitled, including abortion.
We are opposed to attempts to restrict the right to abortion through constitutional amendments. To establish in the Constitution the view of certain religious groups on the beginning of life has legal implications far beyond the question of abortion. Such amendments would undermine constitutional liberties that protect all Americans.
In keeping with the spirit of this resolution and to actualize its aims, we join with the CCAR in urging Reform Jews and their national and local institutions to cooperate fully with the Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights.