FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 8, 2022
Sarah Garfinkel, West End Strategy Team
WASHINGTON – Last week, Florida became the latest state to pass a 15-week abortion ban with no exceptions for rape, incest, or human trafficking, as part of an ongoing assault on abortion access from across state legislators.
National Council of Jewish Women CEO Sheila Katz said:
“The 15-week abortion ban passed by the Florida legislature this week will not only deny millions of Floridians access to critical health care but will have devastating ripple effects across our country, particularly in the South. Every person deserves dignity and respect. Forced pregnancy endangers the lives and wellbeing of people who will no longer have access to the care they need without having to travel hundreds of miles and pay hundreds or thousands of dollars. The injustice and cruelty of this legislation harms those who are already facing barriers to accessing health care, particularly Black, Indigenous and People of Color, women, and those working to make ends meet.
“Across the country, state legislatures, emboldened by the US Supreme Court, are working to add additional roadblocks and barriers to people seeking to access abortions. So far in the 2022 legislative session, more than 290 anti-abortion bills in 41 states have already been introduced, with West Virginia and Arizona also considering 15-week bans.
“Proponents of these restrictions often claim that they are acting on behalf of religious freedom. But we know most people of faith support access to abortion. Our Jewish tradition not only permits abortion but in some cases when the pregnant person’s wellbeing is at risk, requires it. We refuse to let these lawmakers get away with denying our rights and will continue to mobilize National Council of Jewish Women advocates and allies to raise their voices until these abortion bans are defeated once and for all.”
NCJW Florida State Policy Advocate Laura Guren Rodriguez said:
“For months, we have been working to stop this egregious ban from passing in our legislature. This ban does not represent the will of Floridians, nor do the other discriminatory and cruel bills our legislators passed on the same day — banning LGBTQ students and students of color from learning their histories and affirming their stories in Florida schools. We know abortion bans most significantly impact those who already face barriers to health care and this new law will fall hardest on Black and Brown Floridians, as well as young people, immigrants, and undocumented residents.
“Countless public testimonies were not heard or were cut off in 30 seconds. Most were met by single minded, uncompassionate, stoic eyes that left individuals humiliated and haunted. We applaud those lawmakers who have chosen to uphold the First Amendment while embracing their own religious beliefs. Their commitment to the people of Florida should be an example to lawmakers around the country as legislatures seek to govern with an authoritarian hand.
“We will continue to work to ensure all Floridians have access to the abortion care they need, both in state and out of state, if necessary. And, we will ensure that everyone has access to accurate, scientifically-based information about their options. As Floridians and as people of faith, we call on Governor DeSantis to listen to us — his constituents — and not sign this horrific ban.”
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.