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 U.S. Is Trying to Seduce Israel into Accepting a Bad Deal with Iran. Israel Should Say No

Last week, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released its quarterly report on the Iranian nuclear program. According to an analysis by the Institute for Science and International Security, the Islamic Republic can now produce enough weapons-grade uranium to manufacture “five nuclear weapons in one month, seven in two months, and a total of eight in three months.” The IAEA also has reason to believe that Tehran has further nuclear capabilities that it has successfully hidden from inspectors. David M. Weinberg is concerned about Washington’s response:

Believe it or not, the Biden administration apparently is once again offering the mullahs of Tehran a sweetheart deal: the release of $10 billion or more in frozen Iranian assets and clemency for Iran’s near-breakout nuclear advances of recent years, in exchange for Iranian release of American hostages and warmed-over pious Iranian pledges to freeze the Shiite atomic-bomb program.

This month, intelligence photos showed Iran again digging tunnels at its Natanz nuclear site—supposedly deep enough to withstand an American or Israeli military strike. This tells us that Iran has something to hide, a clear sign that it has not given up on its quest for a nuclear bomb.

Meanwhile, Antony Blinken today completes a three-day visit to Saudi Arabia, where he is reportedly pressing the kingdom to enter the Abraham Accords. This is no coincidence, for reasons Weinberg explains:

Washington expects Israeli acquiescence in the emerging U.S. surrender to Iran in exchange for a series of other things important to Israel. These include U.S. backing for Israel against escalated Palestinian assaults expected this fall in UN forums, toning down U.S. criticism regarding settlement and security matters (at a time when the IDF is going to have to intensify its anti-terrorist operations in Judea and Samaria), an easing of U.S. pressures on Israel in connection with domestic matters (like judicial reform), a warm Washington visit for Prime Minister Netanyahu (which is not just a political concession but is rather critical to Israel’s overall deterrent posture), and most of all, significant American moves towards reconciliation with Saudi Arabia (which is critical to driving a breakthrough in Israeli-Saudi ties).

[But] even an expensive package of U.S. “concessions” to Saudi Arabia will not truly compensate for U.S. capitulation to Iran (something we know from experience will only embolden the hegemonic ambitions of the mullahs). And this capitulation will make it more difficult for the Saudis to embrace Israel publicly.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Antony Blinken, Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Saudi Arabia, U.S.-Israel relationship