Central Conference of American Rabbis Deplores New Law Targeting Planned Parenthood

 Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Central Conference of American Rabbis strongly condemns legislation, signed into law by President Trump last week, enabling states to deny needy women the right to receive vital family planning and preventative healthcare services through Planned Parenthood and other health care providers that also offer abortion care.

We oppose this new law on the basis of our Jewish principles:

Pikuach Nefesh (Saving a Life) - In countless communities, Planned Parenthood is the trusted health care provider most accessible to poor women. Newly-permitted state restrictions will deny these women lifesaving care, including cervical and breast cancer screening.

Emet (Truth) - Planned Parenthood opponents have proclaimed that this law enables states not to fund abortions. That is false. The Hyde Amendment, which we oppose, has long prohibited federal funding of abortions, in all but the rarest of instances, none of which is impacted by this new law. States have always been free to withhold funding for abortion services. This new law negatively impacts funding for poor women's contraception and preventative health care only.

B'tzelem Elohim (All human beings are created equally, in God's image) - This new federal law, and the state actions it enables, impacts particularly on poor women. These women -- no less than men, no less than women of means -- should be fully empowered to select their preferred provider of contraception and life-saving preventative health care. 

Reform rabbis stand with the women who need the contraceptive and lifesaving services of Planned Parenthood.

Rabbi David E. Stern           Rabbi Steven A. Fox
President                            Chief Executive

Central Conference of American Rabbis