Support the Women’s Equality Agenda — all of it
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Judaism teaches us that the decision for choice is nuanced and difficult. Honest people, serious people, men and women who support Roe v. Wade, never do so lightly. They struggle. They tread softly because there are lives at stake here and because they know that all life is ultimately sacred. The right to decide about abortion must remain the personal decision of each family or woman.
Although I am convinced personhood does not begin at conception and I learn that from reading the Torah and the teachings of our sages, I will not make anyone else read the Bible as I do or believe as I do. Others can, and do, read it their way with great passion. Let them respect my interpretation and my religious beliefs.
My understanding of free choice is that the right to choose is a God-given right with which persons are endowed. Without choice, life becomes a meaningless routine and humans become robots. Freedom of choice is what makes us human and responsible. For women, the preeminent freedom is the choice to control her reproductive process. We must reinvigorate our efforts to protect this religious freedom, a woman’s right of reproductive choice.
The Women’s Equality Agenda seeks to establish justice for women as whole persons. This means we support our sisters need equality in the workplace and protections from any type of gender-based discrimination or sexual abuse; it also demands that we support their right to choose. Without reproductive justice, there is no social justice for women. I urge legislators to respect that fact and to trust women’s intelligence and integrity and enact the entire Women’s Equality Agenda.