CORRECTION: Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald was misquoted in the original version of this article. His quote has been removed, and CNS News apologizes for the error.
(CNS News) – In a legal brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of a Mississippi law case that could upend Roe v. Wade, Jewish pro-life leaders argue that abortion “violates all Jewish ethics and laws,” constitutes “child sacrifice,” and has created a “silent Holocaust.”
The brief calls on the Supreme Court to overturn Roe, and two other pro-abortion decisions, Doe v. Bolton and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
"Seen for what it really is, the abortion holocaust parallels and rises beyond crimes against humanity from which Jews have suffered dearly," reads the legal brief. "After WWII, international consensus coalesced around the need to hold to account those responsible for genocidal activities.... We must end abortion, an appalling crime against humanity."
The pro-life Jewish organizations and leaders who represent the amicus curiae brief are the Jewish Pro-Life Foundation, the Coalition for Jewish Values, Rabbi Yakov David Cohen, director of the Institute of Noahide Code, author and rabbi Chananya Weissman, and Jewish Life League Founder Bonnie Chernin.
“Abortion is antithetical to Torah principles,” reads the brief. “The act of abortion, and the industry that promotes and benefits financially from it, violates all Jewish ethics and morals.”
The brief explains that abortion is permissible under Judaism in the extremely rare cases when the mother’s life is at risk. This occurs in less than 1% of all pregnancies.
“The history of Judaism includes many existential threats to Jewish life in the form of state sponsored mass murder,” reads the brief. “This makes us especially sensitive to the plight of the child in the womb, whose protection under the law was completely abrogated by Roe v. Wade, Doe v. Bolton and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.”
Roe v. Wade was the 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion nationwide. Doe v. Bolton, decided by the high court on the same day as Roe, overturned restrictions on abortion in Georgia in cases of rape or fetal deformity. In Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the high court upheld the essential foundation of Roe.
The pro-life Jewish leaders ask the court to review their arguments and “find the moral authority and conviction to overturn Roe, Doe and Casey.”
The brief was submitted in support of a Mississippi law that bans most abortions after 15 weeks gestation, which is being challenged at the Supreme Court: Thomas E. Dobbs, State Health Officer of the Mississippi Department of Health v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The court will hear opening arguments in the case on Dec. 1.
The arguments against abortion in the brief are taken from the Old Testament (the Torah), the Talmud, the Noahide Code, congressional testimony, previous case law, numerous rabbis, Jewish authors, and the Holocaust Encyclopedia.
In reference to abortion being the modern day version of child sacrifice, the brief quotes Leviticus 18:21, “Do not give any of your children to be sacrificed to Molek, for you must not profane the name of your God. I am the Lord.”
Torah scholar Moses ben Maimon (12th c.), known as Maimonides, wrote, “The definition of murder according to the Noahide Laws includes a person ‘who kills even one unborn in the womb of its mother,’ and adds that such a person is liable for the death penalty.”
The brief further states that under the Jewish legal code (halakhah), “Not only are Jews prohibited from having an abortion, but they are prohibited from assisting non-Jews from having an abortion, too.”
Rabbi Norman Lamm (d. 2020), former chancellor of Yeshiva University, is quoted, “The freedom of parents to crush prenatal life, which now seems to be in vogue, will eventually lead to utter destruction, because it is only a small leap of logic from feticide to infanticide, to getting rid of infants who may not fulfill our ideals of mental and physical health, or eventually, ethnic and genetic respectability.”
In relation to that point, the brief also discusses how abortion and social Darwinist ideas led to the Jews being victims of eugenics and eventually genocide in Nazi Germany.
“Jewish victims of genocide throughout history have been redefined as subhuman, legally stripped of personhood and civil liberties, tortured and murdered,” reads the brief. “Similarly, infant life in the womb is redefined as subhuman, legally stripped of personhood and civil liberties, tortured and murdered.”
The brief then quotes Hitler in a Nazi memo, “We must use every means to install in the population the idea that it is harmful to have several children, the expenses that they cause and the dangerous effect on women’s health . . . It will be necessary to open special institutions for abortions, and doctors must be able to help out there in case there is any question of this being a breach of their professional ethics.”
The pro-life Jewish writers add, “The lies originated with Nazi propaganda, when the sub-humans and parasites in question were Jews in their shops, homes, synagogues, and yes, in their mothers’ wombs.”
In 1936, they add, the German Supreme Court ruled that Jews living in Germany were not legal “persons.” And in 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court “ruled that unborn babies are not legal ‘persons.’”
Under the Nazis, who ruled for 12 years (1933-1945), an estimated 6 million Jews were killed. Since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, more than 60 million babies have been killed by abortion in the U.S. alone. It is an "abortion holocaust," as the brief states.
In Mein Kampf, Hitler said, “The Jew was always only a parasite in the body of other peoples.” On CNN, author and feminist Gloria Steinem said, “A woman would have the right to abortion just as she has a right to remove any parasitic growth from her body.”
“Another propaganda tactic used by abortion industry lobbyists justifies child murder for research purposes,” reads the brief. “Billions of taxpayer-funded research dollars support gruesome experiments on aborted babies, the immoral and unimaginable procedures hidden in scientific language and dubious claims of benefits to society.”
“Jewish torture and murder by Nazi doctors such as Josef Mengele at Auschwitz were designated as medical research, too, and declared good for society,” states the brief.
The brief’s authors then quote Elie Wiesel (1928-2016), a Nobel Prize winning author and Holocaust survivor, “Jews were not killed because they were human beings. In the eyes of the killers they were not human beings! They were Jews!”
This horrific view is how unborn babies are seen by many people today, according to the brief. This dehumanization “leads to unbridled crimes against humanity as in the Final Solution and the abortion holocaust.”
“The dehumanization of children in the womb has allowed millions and millions and millions of abortion crimes in the name of justice, rights, healthcare, biomedical research, improving the gene pool, convenience, and even religious liberty,” state the authors.
As for eugenics, the brief notes that it really got off the ground in America with the Racial Hygiene movement, and this so-called science helped to fuel the Nazi policies against the disabled, mentally ill, and eventually the Jews to try to create a pure Aryan race.
As the authors state, “Margaret Sanger and her American Birth Control League became primary sponsors of eugenics during her lifetime. She associated herself with Adolph Hitler, praising him for his racial politics of eugenics. She changed the name of her organization to Planned Parenthood during WWII in order to disguise her affiliation with the Nazis.”
One of the notorious Nazi doctors who performed eugenic experiments on Jewish prisoners was Josef Megele. As the brief notes, after Mengele fled Germany after the war, he lived in secrecy in Argentina where he performed illegal abortions to earn money.
“Seen for what it really is, the abortion holocaust parallels and rises beyond crimes against humanity from which Jews have suffered dearly,” according to the brief’s authors.
In conclusion, they state, “We must end abortion, an appalling crime against humanity. To begin the process of reconciliation with our Creator, to restore the dignity of those who have perished, and to return our country to a life affirming nation. Amici ask the Court to rise above political concerns and to contemplate the Divine promise bestowed upon every human being as pledged in Jeremiah 29:11: 'For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'"