Tag Archives: Women’s Health
A Woman in Prison

On Purim, Exploring the Intersections of Reproductive Justice and Criminal Justice

On Purim, we celebrate a time of transition for the Jews, from “grief to joy and from mourning to a festive day—to make them days of feasting and joy, and sending portions one to another, and gifts to the poor” (Megillat Esther 9). As we prepare for Purim, we look forward to a time of “feasting and merrymaking” (Megillat Esther 9:22). Indeed, Purim is a time to celebrate the fortitude and resilience of the Jewish people, focusing especially on the impressive role of women leaders that is unique in the Purim story and throughout our history. Yet, as we celebrate our triumphs over the injustices of discrimination and exclusion, we must also reflect on the injustices that persist in our world today.

A new report by the Women in Prison Project, an initiative of the Correctional Association of New York, reveals one such travesty, finding that people do not receive adequate reproductive healthcare while incarcerated. The report, titled “Reproductive Injustice: The State of Reproductive Health Care for Women in New York State Prisons,” is an in-depth study of reproductive health care in the New York state prison system. Over the course of five years, researchers interviewed 950 inmates, visited prisons across the state, conducted surveys and reviewed medical charts to reveal “a shockingly poor standard of care, the routine denial of basic reproductive health and hygiene items, and the continued egregious practice of shackling pregnant women during labor and childbirth despite a 2011 law prohibiting it.” Read more…

Support abortion access

House of Representatives Passes Severe Anti-Abortion Bill to “Celebrate” Roe v. Wade Anniversary

On January 22, we commemorated the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision that established our constitutionally protected right to decide whether or not to have an abortion. That same day, in an affront to the legacy of Roe, the House of Representatives voted to pass the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2015 (H.R. 7), dangerous legislation that would both codify existing bans on taxpayer funding for abortion and expand restrictions to limit abortion access for women who are privately insured. Read more…

Supporting Roe at SCOTUS

Reform Jewish Movement Marks Roe v. Wade Anniversary; Condemns Dangerous House Bill

Today, we commemorate the 42nd anniversary of the Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that established the constitutionally protected right of a woman to decide whether or not to have an abortion. In an affront to the legacy of Roe v. Wade, the House of Representatives voted this afternoon to pass the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2015, a dangerous bill to restrict abortion access. On the occasion of the Roe anniversary and of the House vote, Rachel Laser, Deputy Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, and Rabbi Marla J. Feldman, Executive Director of Women of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement: Read more…

On the Anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Raising Our Voices for Reproductive Justice

On January 22, we commemorate the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision that established the constitutionally protected right of a woman to choose whether or not to have an abortion. The Court held that under the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of due process, the government’s interest in protecting potential life does not always outweigh a woman’s right to privacy in her health decisions. Though this constitutional protection still exists, subsequent court decisions and state and federal laws have slowly chipped away at the decision, establishing significant obstacles to abortion access and leaving our Roe rights at risk. Read more…

front door of the RAC, our year in blogs

2014 at the RAC: Our Year in Blogs  

The (secular) New Year brings new opportunities and new challenges in the world of Jewish social justice. The 114th Congress will convene on January 3, 2015 at noon. As we look towards what 2015 will bring, let’s take a moment to look back at 2014 through 14 RACBlog highlights.

This list is a mix of our most popular blogs or the blogs that represent landmark moments in our programming or observances. Don’t see your favorite blog here? Let us know in the comments! Read more…

Reproductive rights

Steps Towards Reproductive Rights for Peace Corps Volunteers in the Spending Bill

Last week, Congress approved a $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the federal government through September 30, 2015, the end of the 2015 fiscal year. The passage of this bill avoided a government shutdown by funding the federal government – except for the defense budget, which is appropriated separately – for the next nine months.

As my colleague Melanie Fineman described, a number of Members of Congress objected to the bill because it contained harmful policy riders, amendments attached to legislation in its last stages to alter the language or to attach a new idea on a bill on which a compromise has already been reached. One policy rider in the spending bill seriously weakened the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory legislation, and another will allow wealthy political contributors to give even more money to political parties. The Hyde Amendment is a classic example of a policy rider: for every budget passed by Congress, anti-choice members attach language that prohibits any taxpayer funding for abortion services. Though the Hyde Amendment has not been voted on solely by itself or only on its own merits, it has been the effective law of the land since 1976. Read more…

Stand with Pregnant Workers

Diverse Coalition of Faith Groups Calls for Justice for Pregnant Workers

Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Young v. United Parcel Service, a pregnancy discrimination case that has significant implications for working women across the country. Supporters of the plaintiff, Peggy Young, gathered before the Court to protest pregnancy discrimination, sharing stories to highlight that the discrimination Young faced is not unique but rather a widespread injustice for working women. Speakers shared stories of cashiers fired for requesting a stool to alleviate the fatigue of standing and of women who stocked shelves fired for carrying a water bottle to stay hydrated on duty. They shared stories of their own and stories from their mothers’ generation and before, wondering aloud “why we’re here,” 36 years after the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978—the law in question in Young—was created to require reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers. Read more…

Rabbi Luxembourg speaking at the Supreme Court; Young v. UPS

Supreme Court Hears Key Pregnancy Discrimination Case

By Rabbi Jack Luxemburg

This morning, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Young v. United Parcel Service, a pregnancy discrimination case that has far reaching implications for working women. These remarks were delivered at a rally before the Supreme Court in support of plaintiff Peggy Young and pregnant workers like her. Read more…

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