Post Roe: MN Jewish Groups Voice Support for Reproductive Rights
Thursday, July 7, 2022
In mid-July, several groups will hold an abortion access rally in Minnesota. They include Jewish-led organizations, who say much of their community doesn't want to see reproductive rights taken away.
Conservative Christians and many of their congregants had long called for the recent dismantling of 'Roe v. Wade' by the U.S. Supreme Court.
But Beth Gendler, executive director of Minnesota's Jewish Community Action, said it's a different tone across Judaism. Pew Research notes 83% of Jews feel abortion should be legal in all or most cases.
Gendler said it goes back to early writings from their faith that life begins at birth.
"The potential for life that pregnancy affords is of course valuable, and should be protected," said Gendler. "But when it comes down right down to it, it really is the life of the person who is pregnant that is paramount."
Opponents from some other faiths believe life begins at conception.
Despite the ruling, abortion remains legal in Minnesota. But the coalition behind the upcoming rally wants more access as neighboring states implement bans, forcing more patients to receive care here.
And they want some current Minnesota restrictions lifted, such as a 24-hour waiting period.
Erica Solomon, executive director of the Minnesota section of the National Council of Jewish Women, added that their belief system strongly prioritizes standing up for marginalized populations.
"This is not just taking care of ourselves and our own," said Solomon, "but a commitment to not standing idly by while barriers are placing any individual's autonomy, or health or wellbeing, at risk."
While groups like hers are speaking out, Soloman added they're not trying to step on the toes of pro-choice activists who have been doing this work for years.
"I think we are still trying to find our place in the work," said Solomon, "while definitely making it our goal to be supporting those who have been leading this fight."
The rally is scheduled for Sunday, July 17 at 11 a.m. in St. Paul.
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