Society for Humanistic Judaism Says Reproductive Choice Is a Fundamental Right

The right to abortion is at the center of a continuing public ethical and political controversy in North America. Many determined individuals and organizations seek to use government power to restrict or eliminate this right.

We, the Board of Directors of the Society for Humanistic Judaism, affirm that all people have the fundamental right to freely determine the course of their own lives and to control the use of their own bodies, and that each person must accept the responsibility that goes along with this freedom. Reproductive freedom is a necessary part of this personal freedom, and thoughtful reproductive choice a responsibility. No group or individual has the right to use its views or beliefs as justification for interference with this or any other fundamental right.

Therefore, we affirm that a woman has the moral right and should have the continuing legal right to decide whether or not to terminate a pregnancy in accordance with her own ethical standards. Because a decision to terminate a pregnancy carries serious, irreversible consequences, it is one to be made with great care and with keen awareness of the complex psychological, emotional, and ethical implications.

— August 28, 1996