Why Some Jews, Muslims, See Roe Reversal as an Attack

Their religions allow for abortions, some argue
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 27, 2022 12:00 AM CDT
Updated Jul 2, 2022 12:15 PM CDT
For Some Jews, Muslims, Roe Reversal Is an Attack on Religious Freedoms
Anti-abortion demonstrators protest outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Saturday, June 25, 2022.   (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

The role of religion in the abortion debate is getting a lot of attention in the wake of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade—but when it comes to certain religions, some say the reversal represents an infringement of their religious liberty. Some Jewish groups have been very vocal in speaking out against the decision, NPR reports. While interpretations of Jewish sacred texts differ, some Jews argue that in their religious tradition, personhood begins only when a baby draws its first breath. "Therefore, forcing someone to carry a pregnancy that they do not want or that endangers their life is a violation of Jewish law because it prioritizes a fetus over the living adult who is pregnant," the Women's Rabbinic Network says in a statement.

Other organizations issued similar statements, and at least one group has sued over the new abortion restrictions, but some of Judaism's more conservative factions are on board with the SCOTUS decision. Similarly, Muslims who spoke to the Washington Post say Islamic law is flexible on the issue of abortion, and many Muslims believe the decision is each person's to make alone, with the aid of counsel. The main thing, says one Islamic scholar, is that Islamic law on the matter "is forgiving and on the side of mercy.” The SCOTUS ruling, she says, could "take away from Muslim rights to abortion in their tradition and their religion.” (More Roe v. Wade stories.)

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