On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court cemented the constitutional right to abortion in Roe v. Wade, affirming that all people should be able to make their own decisions about their bodies and health care. By finally making abortion legal in all 50 states, this game-changing decision provided the foundation that our movement to protect and expand abortion rights and access continues to build upon today.
Indeed, since then, NCJW advocates have strived to secure our fundamental right to bodily autonomy in their communities and at all levels of government. But, as exemplified by the Court’s most recent abortion decision — the first with Justice Amy Coney Barrett on the bench — which reinstated a policy that forces patients to travel to a clinic or hospital to pick up medication abortion, theoretical legal rights mean nothing without access to essential health care in reality.
On its 48th anniversary, here are five ways to commemorate Roe v. Wade and go even further to truly protect abortion access for all.
- Speak out on social media. On Friday, January 22, NCJW and the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice will lead an interfaith digital action to mark the Roe Join us by posting on social media about protecting the constitutional right to abortion, why this legal right has never been a reality for many seeking abortion care, and why people of faith and conscience support abortion rights and access. You can find our toolkit with sample posts, graphics, and talking points here.
- Contact your members of Congress. We need federal legislation to stop the relentless tide of discriminatory abortion bans and restrictions and to secure the constitutional right to abortion. We can start by supporting the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA), which would invalidate onerous state restrictions blocking access to abortion, and the EACH Woman Act, which would ensure affordability of this care by ending political interference in public and private insurance coverage. Use our action alert to urge your lawmakers to commit to passing these critical bills in the 117th
- Sign our petitions. People of faith and conscience refuse to remain idle while moral and bodily autonomy, health, and lives are at stake. Our petitions calling for the passage of WHPA and EACH outline the moral and faith values that inspire our support for abortion rights and access and will be delivered to members of the 117th Add your name today and share far and wide with the people of faith in your life who believe in compassion and dignity for all and are committed to ensuring equity and justice for the most marginalized members of our society.
- Prepare for Repro Shabbat. On February 12-13, NCJW will be launching our inaugural Repro Shabbat, during which congregations, organizations, and communities across the country will celebrate the critical importance of reproductive health, rights, and justice and learn more about Judaism’s approach to these issues. If your congregation, community, or section is participating, please sign up here and complete this form to tell us more about the event. Participating organizations can also use this sample social media to promote Repro Shabbat.
- Get involved with your local NCJW section. WHPA and EACH are just the beginning of securing abortion access for all. NCJW advocates and sections around the country are working tirelessly on proactive state legislation to protect abortion access for young people, eliminate stigma, ensure that providers and services are available, and to take on the very real disparities that exist for anyone living on the margins. Join them by searching our NCJW Near You page to find a section in your community.