On Saturday, the Supreme Court voted to strike down the Roe v. Wade decision passed in 1973. Repealing the law now permits each state to mandate its legislation pertaining to abortions.
The recent decision comes after an unprecedented leak last month of the majority decision written by Justice Samuel Alito. No draft decision in the court’s modern history has been disclosed publicly while a case was still pending. The disclosure resulted in illegal protests in front of the homes of justices and a threat to the life of one justice. The disclosure of the document was a breach of Supreme Court secrecy and has yet to be fully investigated. Many left-wing politicians have made calls for action that came close to calls to violence.
Influenced by Donald Trump
There is no doubt that this ruling was influenced by Donald Trump, who appointed three justices to the supreme court despite serving only one term. These justices were known to adhere to strict readings of the constitution and would not favor Roe v. Wade which was based on an implied understanding that abortion was a constitutionally protected right. All three Trump-appointed justices, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett, joined the majority opinion in overturning Roe.
In an exclusive interview with Fox News, President Trump said, “This is following the Constitution, and giving rights back when they should have been given long ago.”
When Fox News asked Trump if he felt he played any role in the decision through his appointments to the Supreme Court, Trump responded, “God made the decision.”
This opinion that divine intervention played a role in theSupreme Court process was shared by some pundits. The Daily Wire’s Co-CEO Jeremy Boreing tweeted, “Donald Trump managed to get Roe v Wade overturned. There is a God, and He is confusing.”
Donald Trump managed to get Roe v Wade overturned. There is a God, and He is confusing.
— Jeremy Boreing (@JeremyDBoreing) June 24, 2022
The Jewish perspective
Daily Wire Editor Ben Shapiro, an Orthodox Jew, added, “Hundreds of thousands of children will now live who would otherwise have been killed in the womb. This is a victory for all human beings, who are created in the image of God.”
Rabbi Moshe Avraham Halperin, head of the Machon Madii Technology Al Pi Halacha (the institute for technology according to Torah law), is an expert in medical ethics in the framework of the Torah. He explained the Torah’s position on abortion.
“There is no credible rabbinic opinion that permits abortion on demand,” Rabbi Halperin said.”There are conditions under which it is permitted to abort the pregnancy. Of course, if the mother’s life or health is endangered, abortion is permitted. If the mother believes it will harm her psychologically, this requires consultation with medical and religious professionals. This is considered saving a life, but each case must be considered separately. Monetary hardship is not a reason to justify murdering an infant. ”
“Until the 40th day, it is permitted under some specific circumstances to end the pregnancy if it is clear the baby has no chance to survive. There is one opinion that if it is determined that the infant in the womb has Down’s Syndrome, it is permitted to abort the pregnancy up to the third month of pregnancy. But this opinion has been decried by major halachic authorities.”
“Ending the life of a fetus, according to some opinions, is murder,” Rabbi Halperin emphasized. The rabbi cited Genesis:
Whoever sheds the blood of man, By man shall his blood be shed; For in His image Did Hashem make man. Genesis 9:6
The rabbi cited the Talmud, which noted the phrase shpoch dam ha’adam ba’adam (שֹׁפֵךְ דַּם הָאָדָם בָּאָדָם), which literally means “whoever spills the blood of a man in a man….”
“The Talmud (Sanhedrin 57a) learns that this is referring to a man inside a man, that is to say, a fetus,” Rabbi Halperin said. “E learn from this that the prohibition against abortion is included in the Noahide Laws and is incumbent on Jews and non-Jews.”
An Israeli organization weighs in
Ruth Tidhar is the Director of the Assistance Department of the EFRAT Organization. EFRAT works on the premise that legislation will not prevent abortions. Instead, EFRAT encourages women not to have abortions, offering them financial support and counseling as an alternative.
“Our mission is to help women avoid abortions,” Tidhar said. “And laws don’t save babies. Love saves babies. We help. We let them know they aren’t alone. Our volunteers give a listening ear and a soft shoulder.”
“Being pregnant is a powerful experience and puts the woman under tremendous pressure, especially financial. We offer concrete assistance; a crib, diapers, clothes, and toys for the first two years,” Tidhar said.“We provide women with the ability to make a choice. In all the years that I have been speaking with pregnant women, I do not remember a single woman who chose abortion and who wasn’t harmed by it. Abortion clinics don’t tell them how much the abortion harms them psychologically and spiritually, frequently leading to depression.”
Tidhar noted that much of what they do is traditionally provided by supportive husbands, parents, and communities, deteriorating elements in Western countries.
“Laws cannot replace family or community,” she explained. “You cannot legislate love. Our women get ‘birthday’ greetings every year. This is all private donations and volunteers, people who sincerely care. This used to be standard for every religious community, no matter what the religion.”
“We also give career counseling to help the women rejoin the workforce,” Tidhar said. ‘We help with tuition and daycare.
EFRAT officially views abortion among Jews as a demographic threat to the Jewish people. Since its establishment in 1977, EFRAT has helped tens of thousands of women to choose life, saving over 80,000 children.
“If I could tell every pregnant woman one thing, it is that you are not alone,” Tidhar said. “That is what they need to hear, and that is what we try to tell them.’Roe v. Wade was the 1973 case in which the Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution protects a pregnant woman’s liberty to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction. The ruling was revised in the 1992 decision Planned Parenthood v. Casey which abandoned Roe‘s trimester framework in favor of a standard based on fetal viability and overruled the strict scrutiny standard for reviewing abortion restrictions. The ruling has been criticized as being an egregious case of judicial activism. It has also been charged as claiming to be based on constitutionally protected civil rights when it clearly has no basis in the constitution and is not relevant to civil rights.