Agudath Israel of America Welcomes Supreme Court Overruling Roe v. Wade


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Today, the Supreme Court of the United States overruled Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision establishing a woman’s constitutional right to abortion. Agudath Israel of America welcomes this historic development.

Agudath Israel has long been on record as opposing Roe v. Wade’s legalization of abortion on demand. Informed by the teaching of Jewish law that fetal life is entitled to significant protection, with termination of pregnancy authorized only under certain extraordinary circumstances, we are deeply troubled by the staggering number of pregnancies in the United States that end in abortion.

We do not seek to impose our religious beliefs on the broader American society. We are of the view, however, that society, through its laws, should promote a social ethic that affirms the supreme value of life. Allowing abortion on demand, in contrast, promotes a social ethic that devalues life.

To be sure, there are certain extraordinary circumstances where our faith teaches that a woman should terminate her pregnancy. Agudath Israel fully supports her right to abortion in such situations, both as a matter of constitutional free exercise and moral principle. However, it must be reiterated that these cases are indeed extraordinary, rare exceptions to the rule that fetal life is entitled to protection.

We pray that today’s ruling will inspire all Americans to appreciate the moral magnitude of the abortion issue, and to embrace a culture that celebrates life.

(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)


  1. What will happen when some of the Republican governors decide to ban ALL abortions without exception? Don’t think this won’t happen in some states.

    Let’s assume that your wife is pregnant and suddenly her life in danger C”V if she continues the pregnancy? Are you then going to be happy that abortion is completely outlawed? Or if she was raped C”V and it resulted in a pregnancy. You expect her to be forced to carry to term?

  2. > Yanky55

    That is the difference between (true) Republican governors and Democrat governors. The Democrat governor finds an excuse to rule by unilateral decree. The (true) Republican governor goes through the legislature.

  3. I think that the Agudath Israel is short sighted. Religious freedom and separation of church and state should not be delegated to the states. Shechita and milah are in danger.

  4. Agudah holds that preventing abortions in broader society is more important than Jewish women’s rights to halachically-permitted abortions.

    In other words, for the sake of society as a whole, women whose pregnancies are a source of severe emotional distress should lose the opportunity to abortion (and be forced to carry on with the pregnancy), no matter what the emotional cost.

    I am aware of teshuvos that discuss under what circumstances a woman would be allowed an abortion, but am not aware of any that say that certain women would have to suffer in this way, for the sake of American society’s greater good.

    I look forward to seeing a comprehensive written teshuva that details the halachic reasoning behind this.

  5. Halacha does not see abortion the way Christianity does, and it is disturbing that Agudah would take this position. The government could outlaw bris milah just as easily as it just made it okay for states to outlaw abortion.

  6. Be careful what you wish for…..Several of the most crazy extreme Republican conservatives have issues press releases applauding the Court decision with a particular focus on Justice Thomas’ call to overturn other Court decision involving contraceptives etc. Their statements had variations of comments about this is the first step in “restoring America to its original Christian values” and establishing “God’s law” as “the legal structure of the land”.

  7. Based on the standard used, looking to the original meaning of the 14th amendment, it is questionable if Pierce v. Society of Sisters (allowing parochial schools) would be upheld. That could be devastating for our community. Restrictions on abortion will have minimal impact on the frum community , but banning yeshiva education (at least from meeting the requirements of compulsory education) would be devastating.

  8. I am actually surprised and disappointed that the Agudas Israel felt a need to comment at all. I’m also not at all certain who their target audience is. The justices? They certainly don’t require or expect support. The Administration? They’re expressing dismay. The Orthodox community? Well…