Coalition for Jewish Values Condemns 'Rabbis for Repro,' Praises Texas' Pro-Life Heartbeat Law

By Michael W. Chapman | September 13, 2021 | 2:14pm EDT
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

(CNS News) -- The Coalition for Jewish Values, which represents more than 1,500 traditional, Orthodox rabbis nationwide, applauded Texas' new pro-life heartbeat law, and condemned the left-wing National Council of Jewish Women and its "Rabbis for Repro" for distorting the truth of Jewish teaching on abortion. 

The Coalition (CJV) also denounced the National Council of Jewish Women for "devaluing the sanctity of life, and causing a desecration of G-d’s Name."

“The Texas statute demands that human life be cherished, while recognizing that the mother’s well-being takes precedence in a medical emergency,” said CJV Southern Regional Vice President Rabbi Moshe Parnes in a statement.

Rabbi Moshe B. Parnes, southern regional vice president of the Coalition for Jewish Values.
Rabbi Moshe B. Parnes, southern regional vice president of the Coalition for Jewish Values.

“Rabbinic literature is abundantly clear that fetuses with beating hearts are alive, just as the new Texas law mandates," he said.  "This has been the accepted ruling for millennia and doesn’t change at the whim of the modern pseudo-scholars of ‘Rabbis for Repro’ who try to force their ‘woke’ personal values into timeless Jewish teachings."

"They make Judaism look repugnant in the eyes of anyone who recognizes that an unborn child is a human being worthy of protection, which is the very definition of desecration of G-d’s name," said Rabbi Moshe Parnes.

Under the new Texas law, abortions are prohibited after an unborn baby's heartbeat can be detected by an ultrasound, which usually occurs about six weeks into a pregnancy. Exceptions are allowed in cases of medical emergencies and where the mother's life is directly threatened. 

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

In its position paper on abortion, the CJV says, "Throughout history, Judaism has opposed murder, child sacrifice and, with modest exceptions, abortion. The Jewish Bible identifies human life as a soul placed (breathed) within a body by G-d Himself, with inestimable sanctity and value. ... Jewish beliefs and ethics treat fetal life, as all life, as possessing inestimable sanctity. Our beliefs permit termination of a pregnancy only under extreme circumstances, and never as a matter of choice."

“The simple truth is that Jewish Law prohibits abortion,” said CJV Rabbinic Circle Chairman Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer. “This prohibition may be overridden to save the mother’s life, which is also recognized in the Texas Heartbeat Law."

"An on-demand approach to abortion, no matter what Jewish advocates may say, violates Judaism’s clear and emphatic declaration of the sanctity of life," he added.

The judgment of Solomon.   (Screenshot)
The judgment of Solomon. (Screenshot)

According to the website of the National Council of Jewish Women (and Rabbis for Repro), "reproductive freedom," i.e., abortion, is "a Jewish value."

"Our tradition not only permits the termination of pregnancy, but even requires it when the life of the pregnant person is at stake," states the Council. "Our communities should be places where anyone who has, or may ever, terminate a pregnancy feels loved and welcomed."

In a brief submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court concerning a similar heartbeat law in Mississippi, the CJV said, "This very narrow exception to the prohibition of abortion in Judaism was biblically justified for a breech birth. Life threatening situations now occur in less than 1% of all pregnancies, making this exception almost inapplicable."

"Abortion is antithetical to Torah principles. The act of abortion, and the industry that promotes and benefits financially from it, violates all Jewish ethics and morals," reads the brief

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