RIVKA ISAACS S.A.F.E. PLAN
ABORTION ACCESS RESOURCE NETWORK
Jofa is proud to announce the
Rivka Isaacs S.A.F.E. Plan
(Support. Advocacy. Funding. Education.)
Abortion Access Resource Network,
to provide culturally congruent abortion care
support for Orthodox Jewish women --
and all who seek our support.
“In Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the U.S. Supreme Court robs women of personal agency over their lives and bodies. In the case of observant Jewish women, it undermines our ability to follow halakha (traditional Jewish law), which permits and even requires abortion in certain circumstances,” said Daphne Lazar Price, Jofa’s executive director. “In Judaism, the life and health of the mother always takes priority over the potential life of the fetus.”
The S.A.F.E. Plan is named for Jofa board member and award-winning filmmaker Paula Eiselt’s great-grandmother, Rivka Isaacs, a loving wife and mother who almost lost her life after a desperate and traumatic back-alley abortion in the 1930s. Rivka’s horrific experience is a painful reminder of the need for legal and safe abortions for all people.
Said Eiselt: “Abortion access is among the most serious issues impacting Jewish women today. Forcing pregnancy in a country that already has the worst maternal health record in the industrialized world is a human rights violation. Preventing safe and legal access to abortion will not eradicate abortion, but rather the ripple effect will lead to death and less nurturing of life. Abortion bans block access to life-saving reproductive health care, fertility treatment, other forms of medical care, threaten women's rights in the workplace, and violate the religious freedom of Jewish women. Not only do the newly enacted abortion bans prevent Jewish women from obtaining access to life-saving halachically mandated abortions. They can lead to the criminalization of rabbis and other faith leaders who can be seen as ‘aiding and abetting’ abortion through religious counsel. The stakes for women in our community, especially women of color and poor women, are at an all time high, and we cannot remain silent.”
Dr. Mindy Feldman Hecht, President, Jofa Board of Directors, added: “For 25 years, Jofa has been advocating on behalf of Orthodox women to create a vibrant and equitable Orthodox community. As part of that effort, women must be able to advocate for the fundamental right to make decisions about our own bodies without the intrusion of other entities. We are here to support all women, especially those in communities where this right is being challenged.”
The Rivka Isaacs S.A.F.E. Plan includes four pillars —
Support, Advocacy, Funding, Education:
S: Support -- The plan will build a network of committed individuals including clergy, mental health professionals, and community members, to provide an emotional connection and additional support as necessary for women seeking abortion care. This will include a range of services, such as connecting women to support networks in their local communities and/or states where they may need to travel, as well as pastoral guidance, and financial assistance. Whether you need support, or offer support, your information will remain strictly confidential.
A: Advocacy -- Jofa will seek out opportunities to advocate, and direct people to advocacy resources, such as webinars, toolkits, and information sources to help advocate for abortion rights and access at the state and federal levels.
F: Funding -- The plan will direct women who need financial help traveling across state lines for abortion care to available funding sources. The plan will also direct people who wish to contribute to support abortion access, whether through Jofa, or through another organization.
E: Education -- In addition to the Jofa education guide linked above, we will provide a continuously updated online bank of resources for clergy and religious advisors, community leaders, and all who wish to increase public awareness, which is essential to creating the necessary culture shift destigmatizing abortion care. This resource bank will include Jewish legal responsa, scholarly and journalistic articles, podcasts, community events, and webinars.
As a matter of principle, Jofa supports every woman’s legal right
to make decisions about, and have control over, her own body,
without the involvement of the government or any other entity.
Every woman should have the right to make her own decisions
about religious and medical matters including abortion,
free from stigma and while retaining human dignity.