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Responding to Dobbs: The Price of Jewish Religious Freedom

Is claiming religious freedom the best way for Jews to respond to the recent Supreme Court decision?
Meirav Jones, Alexander Kaye, Isaac Weiner
Paul Becker/Creative Commons
Paul Becker/Creative Commons
Meirav Jones is a Fellow of the Kogod Research Center at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America and Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at McMaster University. Jones received her PhD in Political Science from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 2013 and she has since held research and teaching positions at the University of Pennsylvania, Yale University, Tel Aviv University, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She was a Research Fellow at the Kogod Research

Alexander Kaye

Isaac Weiner

“A common Jewish response to Dobbs v. Jackson, the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, has been the claim that abortion bans violate the religious freedom of Jews, whose religion sometimes mandates abortion. What makes this claim so alluring is that in recent years, the same Supreme Court that upheld abortion bans has been overwhelmingly sympathetic to religious freedom claims, leaning on the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) that allows religious exemptions from generally applicable laws. The group that has benefited most from this has been the Christian Right; the same group for whom the annulment of Roe v. Wade was a momentous victory.”

Read the complete essay in AJS Perspectives Fall 2022

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