JCRC Statement


Agency will forcefully oppose efforts to limit abortion access in the DMV, and work in coalition to ensure that our region is prepared to provide medical care to thousands of additional women

June 24, 2022

Washington, D.C.--- The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington (JCRC) today joins the majority of Americans who opposed the overturning of Roe v. Wade in their frustration and anguish at the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson.  This ruling will become notorious as an enormous step back in our nation’s progress towards realizing the justice, equity, and liberty to which all Americans are entitled.  In more immediate terms, it will imperil the health and lives of women across the United States, with the heaviest suffering borne by Black, Brown, low-income, and disabled populations.  

The Dobbs ruling constitutes a double infringement on the rights of American Jews.  Even under its strictest, most traditional interpretation, Jewish law mandates the termination of a pregnancy in certain circumstances involving the life or health of the mother.  While we respect other religions’ belief that life begins at conception, Jewish law has no such dictate. Accordingly, a ruling holding that a fetus is a person effectively elevates one religious viewpoint over others and infringes upon Jewish pregnant individuals’ right to follow the tenets of their faith.
The door is not completely shut for Congress and/or federal courts to mitigate the sweeping reach of this harmful decision. However, first and foremost, we must now look to state and local governments to protect core freedoms and save lives.  For nearly 50 years, the JCRC has advocated for reproductive freedom and unrestricted access to safe, legal health care for women throughout our region, forcefully opposing relentless efforts in the Commonwealth of Virginia to slowly but surely chip away at the fundamental rights embodied in Roe.  

We will meet this grim moment with renewed resolve and moral conviction. We will strongly oppose any Congressional effort to curtail or ban abortions in the District of Columbia.  In Maryland, where the JCRC supported the 2022 Abortion Care Access Act, we will work in coalition to ensure that the state is prepared to welcome and serve the thousands of additional women who will travel to our state to seek medical care and exercise reproductive rights. And in Virginia, we will continue to combat strident anti-choice forces who, even with the Roe ruling in place, sought for decades to impose medically unjustified, unsafe, and dehumanizing restrictions on abortion access.  We will also mobilize our local Jewish community at the grass-roots level, connecting synagogues and individuals to meaningful opportunities to support women seeking abortions in our region. 

Jewish tradition exhorts us to not resort to paralyzing fear at times when the road ahead seems perilously narrow.  As we look to a post-Roe future that is unsettling and uncertain at best, and lethally dangerous at worst, the JCRC will continue to lead our local Jewish community in the fight to protect fundamental reproductive rights – and religious freedom --- for all Americans.