New York’s extreme new abortion law has prompted rare public condemnation of the procedure by Jewish leaders.
Israel Today noted rabbis generally do not speak out against abortion, “at least not like Christians.”
But New York’s new law allowing abortion up to the moment of birth has caused two of the largest rabbinical councils in the United States to speak out.
“Jewish law opposes abortion, except in cases of danger to the mother,” said a statement by the Rabbinical Council of America, or RCA. “There is no sanction to permit the abortion of a healthy fetus when the mother’s life is not endangered.”
Israel Today said Jewish congregants were surprised by the public condemnation of abortion.
“This reads more like evangelical Christianity than Orthodox Judaism,” said a comment on the RCA website.
Rabbi Daniel Korobkin, vice president of the RCA, called abortion murder.
“The removal of any restriction from abortion access and the redefining of the word ‘homicide’ to exclude abortion, indicate a further erosion of the moral values of our society, where killing babies is no longer construed as immoral in any way,” he said.
Israel Today commented that traditional Judaism has tended to be more liberal on abortion than evangelical or Catholic Christianity.
The Reform movement, for example, has opposed any legislative limits on access to abortions.
In Israel, Orthodox Jewish political parties have yet to make any restrictions on abortion as part of their bargaining tactics.