JCRC Statement on Alleged Antisemitism Within DC Abortion Fund

JCRC Statement

The following is a statement from Guila Franklin Siegel, associate director of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Greater Washington, in response to accounts of antisemitism among leaders of the DC Abortion Fund.

“Reproductive freedom is a core Jewish value. We believe that women have a fundamental right to decide whether and when to have children, and in some circumstances under Jewish law, denial of abortion care infringes upon a Jewish woman’s ability to exercise her religious freedom. This is why over 80% of American Jews support access to legal and safe abortions. It is also why the JCRC and thousands of Jewish people throughout the Washington DC region support the sacred work of the DC Abortion Fund, which provides reproductive health support to thousands of women across our region, particularly those facing discrimination and/or who couldn’t otherwise afford those services. Their work has been especially critical since the Supreme Court issued its misguided Dobbs decision in 2022 that overturned Roe v. Wade.

For these reasons, we are deeply disturbed by the antisemitic words and actions by DC Abortion Fund’s leaders that are alleged in the account of a former Jewish staff member. Antisemitism is not a progressive value and making Jews feel ostracized and alienated because of who they are and what they believe is antithetical to any form of social justice.

We question how DC Abortion Fund can justify wading into the Israel-Hamas war when it is well beyond the scope of their direct mission and knowledge, and yet also remain silent about hundreds of Jewish women and children being subject to rape and sexual assault by Hamas terrorists. The Fund’s subsequent and outrageous decision to sign a petition encouraging a boycott of Matisyahu, a Jewish performer, simply because of his identity is nothing less than pure bigotry and shows just how far beyond their mission this decision has taken them.

We have been in recent contact with DC Abortion Fund leaders and would welcome additional conversations to further their understanding of the Jewish community. JCRC remains deeply committed to fighting for the right of all people throughout our region and beyond to access the full range of reproductive health care services without government interference. As we do so, we will continue to insist on zero tolerance for antisemitism in progressive movements. Mutual respect and fundamental decency must be at the heart of the reproductive freedom movement.”