Why Jews Need Not Fear a Change in the Supreme Court’s Stance toward Abortion

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, raising speculation that its justices might overturn precedents set by Roe v. Wade, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, and other landmark decisions. As American Jews tend overwhelmingly to be pro-choice, only a minority would likely welcome such an outcome. Howard Slugh and Tal Forgang, however, argue that their concerns may be unfounded:

Some Jewish groups have argued that Roe must be upheld because, in some instances, Jewish women might have a religious obligation to have an abortion. As one of us has previously written, . . . “there is widespread acceptance,” even among Jews who take a more restrictive view of the matter, “that abortions are allowed when necessary to save a mother’s life.” Some Jews regard this allowance as a requirement, which gives rise to a religious obligation to have an abortion in some rare circumstances.

[As a result, some Jewish] groups claim that the Supreme Court must maintain a broad right to abortion to protect Jewish women’s religious liberty. Taken on its own terms, this argument is misguided in a number of ways.

Jewish women in New York or other predominantly liberal states will not wake up the day after Roe is reversed to find abortion illegal in their state. If the Supreme Court overturns Roe and holds that there is no constitutional right to abortion, abortion will not become illegal nationwide. Instead, each state will set its own abortion policy democratically, based on the desires and needs of its population. States with large Jewish populations such as New York, New Jersey, and California are not likely to restrict abortion any more than they currently do.

Even women who live in states with “strict” abortion regulations would be unlikely to face a conflict between their religious mandates and abortion regulations. . . . In the unlikely event that a genuine conflict were to arise between an abortion regulation and a Jewish woman’s religious obligation to have an abortion, the proper course of action would be for her to seek an individualized accommodation, not to demand a religious veto over any law that conflicted with her faith.

Indeed, as Slugh and Fortgang argue in follow-up article, overturning Roe could lead to a general expansion of religious freedom.

Read more at Public Discourse

More about: Abortion, Freedom of Religion, Supreme Court

The Ugly Roots of Ireland’s Anti-Israel Policies

Prime Minister Varadkar’s meretricious messaging concerning the freeing of a kidnapped child is only one example of the Irish government’s perverse reaction to Hamas’s assault on Israel. Varadkar has accused the IDF of pursuing “something approaching revenge” in Gaza, and compared the Israeli war effort to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. His parliament, meanwhile, came close to expelling the Israeli ambassador. Terry Glavin writes:

In a recent interview, . . . the retired Irish diplomat Niall Holohan put it this way: “We feel we have been victimized over the centuries. It’s part of our psyche—underneath it all we side with the underdog.” But there’s something else in the Irish psyche that’s impolite to mention in the comfy Dublin pubs and bistros. . . . Not a few of Ireland’s gallant and celebrated champions of the underdog, its heroes of Irish freedom, were vulgar anti-Semites and Nazi collaborators.

And in recent years, Irish Jews are commonly baited, harassed, and badgered every time there is some eruption in Israel involving Palestinian “resistance.”

The republican pamphleteer Arthur Griffith approved [of anti-Jewish agitation in Limerick in 1904], calling Jews “usurers and parasites.” Griffiths was one of the founders of Sinn Féin, in 1905, and he served as Sinn Féin’s president in 1911.

There was always a deep division in the Irish nationalist movement between Irish republicans who felt an affinity with the Jews owing to a shared history of dispossession and exile, and Catholic extremists who ranted and raved about Jews. Those Catholic shouters are still abroad, apparently unaware that for half a century, Catholic doctrine has established that anti-Semitism is a mortal sin.

Read more at National Post

More about: Anti-Semitism, Gaza War 2023, Ireland