Bonnie Chernin
The abortion and Jewish values 'cruel kit'
By Bonnie Chernin
July 21, 2020

Since the Roe v. Wade decision, leftist Jewish organizations and reform rabbis have embraced an abortion ideology which is perverse and antithetical to Judaism. The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is an organization comprised of radical feminists promoting the false belief that abortion is somehow a “Jewish value” and that any limitation to abortion-on-demand violates Jewish law.

That is absurd. What’s more, the ideals of groups like the NCJW have become more dangerous and extreme as the years have gone by. They won’t tolerate any limitations on abortion.

The Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV) is an organization that “advocates for classical Jewish ideas and standards in matters of American public policy.” As stated in the following paragraphs on their website:

    “The CJV begins from the premise that something can be called an authentic Jewish value only if it is rooted in Biblical and Rabbinic teachings through millennia of Jewish history. Neither spurious references to 'Tikkun Olam' nor the use of Biblical verses plucked out of context transform personal views into Jewish tenets.”

    “Modern Jewish movements which reject Jewish tradition are ill-qualified to determine or express authentically Jewish positions. The Rabbinic Fellows of the CJV have the necessary knowledge and expertise to correct the record.”

Key point here is that there is a world of difference between a position based upon Jewish biblical history and teachings and a contemporary opinion predicated upon an individual’s personal belief system and behavior.

The CJV further points out as part of their mission that they “lead the fight against those who cloak their own secular, left-wing ideals in the mantle of 'Judaism,' misrepresenting Judaism’s actual beliefs and values.”

Rabbi Yaakov Menken is Managing Director of The Coalition of Jewish Values and is a rabbinic authority and spokesperson for the authentic pro-life position in Jewish law. Rabbi Menken counters the ideals of these leftist movements and voices clear opposition to the pro-abortion position, explaining why Judaism considers all life sacred from conception. I listen to the rabbi’s podcast, “Moral Heritage,” and cannot recommend it highly enough.

Leftist Jewish groups falsely claim that life does not begin at conception but rather begins at birth. In his article, “Judaism is Emphatically ‘Pro-Life’, published in Newsweek, Rabbi Menken explains the biblical Jewish viewpoint on the value of life:

    "Jewish law also not merely permits, but demands, that the Sabbath be violated in order to save a fetal life. As lifesaving activity is the only situation in which a Sabbath violation is permitted; were a fetus not deemed alive by the Torah, this behavior would be entirely prohibited."

The rabbi explains the importance of Rebecca’s unusual pregnancy, as she was carrying twins and G-d describes their characteristics before they were born:

    “The Torah identifies human life as a soul placed (breathed) within a body by G-d Himself. Rebecca is told not only that she is carrying twins, but that they have distinct natures and characters that explain their behaviors in utero. Jeremiah is told explicitly that 'Before I placed you in the womb I knew you, before you left the uterus I sanctified you, I appointed you a prophet to the nations' [Jer. 1:5; emphasis, of course, added].”

What stood out for me was Rabbi Menken’s reference to an “abortion toolkit” recently published by the National Council of Jewish Women. Rabbi Menken commented:

    “This booklet was forwarded to me by an esteemed rabbi in our community several weeks ago; he commented, simply, that 'it is horrifying.' The rabbi has a gift for understatement.”

Indeed. Having read through most of this shocking booklet that promotes unconditional and absolute slaughter of the unborn, The NCJW may call it an abortion toolkit. But I call it a cruel kit. Cruel to babies and pregnant women at the mercy of unscrupulous abortionists. Cruel to people of faith.

Here are some of the "values" expressed in the NCJW Abortion Toolkit:

  • Oppose life-affirming counseling for pregnant women at Crisis Pregnancy Centers.

  • Oppose parental involvement when minor children get abortions.

  • Oppose measures that require abortionists to have hospital admitting privileges and abortion facilities to be made safer for pregnant clients.

  • Oppose gestational bans on abortion, including the partial birth abortion ban upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • Oppose state laws requiring women be shown ultrasound images of their unborn babies.

  • Oppose bans on dismemberment abortions of fully-formed infants that can feel pain.

  • Oppose limitations on self-managed abortions.

They even oppose restrictions for abortions based upon sex, race and disability.

What the NCJW does propose is a change in abortion language to euphemisms that will further propagandize baby killing into “reproductive justice” and a “right.” The next statement from the Cruel kit is horrifying:

    "Saying the word 'abortion' or 'abortion rights' helps to destigmatize the term and moves away from the outdated 'safe, legal, and rare' messaging implying that abortion is always unfortunate and regrettable.”

Bill Clinton was the most pro-abortion president in history until Barack Obama. Back in the 1990s, it was Bill Clinton who, when speaking about abortion, coined the phrase "safe, legal and rare."

Now that the NCJW declared “safe” as obsolete, abortion will be even more unfortunate and regrettable for pregnant women. Because abortion is still legal, it is truly cruel and unfortunate for the unborn child.

© Bonnie Chernin


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Bonnie Chernin

In 1986, Bonnie Chernin attended her first pro-life convention where she met author Ann Saltenberger and received a copy of her outstanding book, "Every Woman Has the Right to Know the Dangers of Legal Abortion." This book inspired Bonnie to become actively involved in the pro-life movement.

In the early 1990s, Bonnie volunteered at the office of Manhattan Right to Life, and began writing letters and op-ed pieces for local newspapers on the topic of abortion.... (more)


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