FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 10, 2021
Alyson Malinger, West End Strategy Team
WASHINGTON — Today, the US Supreme Court issued opinions in the two cases challenging SB 8, Texas’ unprecedented six week abortion ban. In US v. Texas, the Court dismissed the Department of Justice’s case. In the provider’s case, Whole Woman’s Health v. Jackson, a majority of justices ruled the challenge could in-part proceed, but left the law in place while the case goes back to the District Court. National Council of Jewish Women CEO Sheila Katz issued the following statement in response:
“For 100 days, Texans have essentially been blocked from accessing their constitutional right to abortion, most harming those who already face barriers to accessing health care, including women and people of color, undocumented immigrants, LGBTQ+ people, and all those struggling to make ends meet. By allowing SB 8 to remain in effect, the Supreme Court continues to fail millions of Texans. As Justice Sotomayor wrote in her powerful dissent, ‘The Court should have put an end to this madness months ago, before SB 8 first went into effect. It failed to do so then, and it fails again today.’
“SB 8 allows individual citizens to sue anyone who helps a person more than six weeks pregnant get an abortion in the state of Texas — a model intentionally designed to circumvent review by the courts. These rulings open the floodgates to copycat laws attacking our constitutional rights including abortion access, freedom of speech, religious freedom and the the right to marry whomever we choose.
“For 100 days, millions of Texans have been forced to remain pregnant regardless of their personal beliefs, choices, or needs. Every month, day, hour, and minute that goes by without ending this ban is a tragedy. As Jews, we recognize the fundamental importance of protecting constitutional freedoms, including the freedom of religion. National Council of Jewish Women advocates for access to abortion because of our Jewish values, not in spite of them. Jewish tradition views abortion as essential health care, not only permitted but in some cases commanded when a life is at risk. We reject efforts to impose a single religious viewpoint on every person, regardless of their beliefs, or allow individuals to sue others to prevent their access to fundamental rights.
“The District Court must immediately halt this restrictive ban while the clinics’ lawsuit proceeds. NCJW urges the Senate to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would protect the right to abortion access across the country. We will continue to advocate until every person has the freedom to make their own moral and faith-informed decisions about their body, health and future.”
National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a grassroots organization of 200,000 volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms. Through a program of education, community service, and advocacy, our advocates across the country create lasting social change on our key issues of the federal courts; reproductive health, rights, and justice, and voter engagement. More information on Facebook and on Twitter at @NCJW.