Abortion Is Not A Jewish Value

Abortion Is Not A Jewish Value

The first mitzvah in the Torah is 'be fruitful and multiply.'

Reform Judaism has done a fantastic job transforming an ancient monotheistic faith into one that celebrates the sacraments of contemporary liberalism. There is no rite more sacred, or comfortable, in this faith than abortion.

The Anti-Defamation League is one of the worst offenders, framing itself as an organization that defends the Jewish people and fights for worldwide justice. Its mission is propelled by the notion of “tikkun olam,” which, while technically translated to mean “the repair of the world,” effectively means whatever you want it to mean. We’re all free to believe what we like. But because of the disjointed nature of modern Judaism, the media treats this organization as if it were a spokesperson for an entire people.

So, yesterday, among the many people celebrating the Supreme Court shooting down HB2, a 2013 Texas law that required abortion clinics to meet basic standards of ambulatory surgical care and doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at local hospitals, the ADL offered this:

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today hailed the Supreme Court’s historic 5-3 decision in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, which struck down a Texas anti-abortion law. The law, HB2, would have effectively barred many women, particularly women in poverty and women of color, from exercising their constitutional right to an abortion.

If the ADL was interested in rejoicing over the affirmation of constitutional rights, why did it not celebrate the District of Columbia v. Heller ruling, which affirmed the individual right of Jews — as well as women of color and everyone else — to exercise their constitutional right to bear arms and defend themselves from rising anti-Semitic violence? Why doesn’t the ADL celebrate the affirmation of the First Amendment in the Citizens United ruling, one that allows Jews — as well as women of color and everyone else — the unfettered right to use free expression? Rather than defending Hobby Lobby’s effort to preserve religious freedom, the ADL filed an amicus brief in support of the state’s efforts to force companies to surrender their beliefs or go out of business. The 613th mitzvah must be “buy condoms for your employees, or else.”

The ADL also joined the National Women’s Law Center by filing an amicus brief that offered its take on the negative impact that Texas law would have on “women’s economic security and equal participation in social and economic life, particularly for low-income women, women of color and women in low-wage jobs.” One of the arguments in the brief is that childbirth — which, I think it needs to be pointed out these days, is a biological necessity for the continuance of the human race — was just as dangerous for women as an elective surgery that destroys a fetus for the sake of convenience. How’s that for Talmudic logic?


In New York City, African-American abortions surpass African-American live births by thousands every year. Is that what the ADL means by “secure justice and fair treatment to all peoples”? Why does the ADL feel the impulse to celebrate and participate in the destruction of the black community in New York City? Even if we concede the highly debatable assertion that the eugenics ADL supports do help communities find economic security, what does it have to do with Judaism? Although I assert no special understanding of Halacha, I must have missed the Yeshiva class where we learned the purposeful destruction of children for “economic security” was a Jewish value. The first mitzvah in the Torah is “be fruitful and multiply.”

The ADL has long tried to link anti-abortion groups to anti-Semitism by stringing together the rare acts of violence to create the impression that the position is extremist. Within the contemporary American Jewish community, it might be. While abortion is to be rejoiced about within the Reform movement—where everything is okay but the sin of being conservative or a Zionist — it’s complicated. Orthodox Judaism only sanctions abortion when the life of the mother is directly threatened. This is something you may not know, as the spokespeople for the Jewish community continue to destructively conflate their ideology with religion.

David Harsanyi is a former Senior Editor at The Federalist. He is the author of First Freedom: A Ride Through America's Enduring History with the Gun. Follow him on Twitter.
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