Jewish Family Service of Seattle stands in strong opposition to today’s Supreme Court ruling overturning the federal right to legal abortion in the United States. We are deeply troubled by the impact it will have on all our lives, but especially on the lives of the most marginalized people who live in states where abortion will be immediately criminalized.
For now, Washington state is a sanctuary for abortion care, given our state law protecting the right to abortion until viability. However, there are 26 states that will likely or certainly criminalize abortion access, including neighboring Idaho. This has dangerous consequences for our state, straining our healthcare providers who may now see a 385% increase in the number of people who will need to travel long distances to access care. Abortion care is out of reach in rural parts of our state. The people with whom JFS works already struggle to find a safe place to live, to provide food for their families, to escape a dangerous relationship with a partner, or to live life independently. Today’s ruling will only exacerbate these struggles.
JFS is guided by Jewish values in our mission to help vulnerable individuals and families in the Puget Sound region achieve well-being, health and stability. We know that being able to choose if and when to have a child is central to ones’ mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health and well-being.
Our Jewish values compel us to support full access to safe and legal abortion care as basic health care. Judaism’s guiding principles on abortion are clear: “A woman’s life and her concerns take precedence over those of the fetus; existing life is always sacred and dates precedence over a potential life; and a woman has the personal freedom to apply the principles of her tradition unfettered by the legal imposition of moral standards other than her own.”
We are grateful for the leadership in Washington state, including Governor Inslee and state legislators who have already made clear their support for maintaining safe and legal abortion in our state. State Attorney General Bob Ferguson will battle any attempts to criminalize abortion in our state and King County Executive Dow Constantine announced $1 million in emergency funds to “bolster abortion care” in our region.
This decision to strip millions of Americans of one of our most basic human rights is a tragedy and hope you will stand with us as we continue to support the right to safe and legal abortion.
Take action to support abortion access in Washington state
Support abortion access through the Northwest Abortion Access Fund
Learn more about the Jewish movement for abortion access