Raising our voices at the Supreme Court

MARCH 26, 2024

Earlier today, I spoke outside the Supreme Court in support of the medication mifepristone, which helps millions of women with reproductive care including abortions and miscarriages.

Here is a video of my remarks, also pasted below.

To learn more about this case, I invite you to watch this conversation we hosted on Facebook Live about today’s oral arguments featuring Erinn D. Martin from the National Women’s Law Center; Rabbi Kelly Levy from Congregation Beth Israel in Austin, TX; and Jody Rabhan, NCJW Chief Policy Officer.

National Council of Jewish Women was proud to raise our voices this morning. We will always declare, loudly and proudly, that reproductive freedom is a Jewish value.


Sheila Katz
Chief Executive Officer
National Council of Jewish Women

Good morning. I’m Sheila Katz, CEO of National Council of Jewish Women, a 130-year-old Jewish feminist civil rights organization working for equity and justice for women, children, and families.

This past weekend, Jews around the world celebrated Purim by reading the story of Queen Esther who saves the Jewish people from religious persecution.

What a symbolic time for us to be coming together. This case, too, is a story of religious persecution, attempting to impose one religion’s narrow perspective on all of us. Attempting to ban mifepristone, a medication safely used for abortion and miscarriage care.

So let’s say the quiet part out loud: There is no such thing as a secular anti-abortion movement.

White Christian nationalist extremists brought this case to the Court today.

White Christian nationalist extremists seek to ban all abortion, birth control, and other sexual and reproductive health care nationwide.

And one of the groups originally behind this case in Texas — that’s now here at the Supreme Court — were also behind those ads about Jesus at the Super Bowl.

To be clear: I have no issue with people choosing to spend their money on Super Bowl ads about Jesus. But as a Jew in America, in the midst of a surge of white Christian nationalism and antisemitism, I have a major issue with people weaponizing religion to take away my rights. To take away our rights.

Religious freedom in this country is meant to be a shield to protect minority faith communities, — Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, atheists — and never a sword to discriminate against us.

And Judaism by the way permits abortions and requires it when the life of the pregnant person is at risk.

We will not stand idly by as religion is weaponized to harm our bodies. We will not stand idly by as federal judges play God and pretend they know more about medicine than the FDA. We will not stand idly by while anyone is denied their reproductive freedom.

As a reminder, we are commanded to love thy neighbor not harm thy neighbor.

We must not cede any moral ground in this fight. We must build a world with love. We must build a world with compassion. We must build a world with dignity.

Just like Queen Esther was told, perhaps she was made for such a time as this. We, too, were made for a time like this.

So let us continue raising our voices until everyone can access lifesaving medication and make their own moral and faith-informed decisions about their bodies, families, and futures. Amen.

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