A Pivotal Moment for Women's History, Health and Rights

Tuesday, Mar 3 2020

By Rhoda Smolow

It's Women's History Month, a time to celebrate the advances we've made for women. This year as we recognize all that we've accomplished, one of our hard-won rights is under attack. We must not let new history be made that strips women of our rights.

This week, the Supreme Court of the United States begins hearing oral arguments for June Medical Services, LLC v. Russo. It is about a Louisiana law that mandates abortion providers have hospital admitting privileges, which would force almost all clinics in the state to close. Historically, Hadassah has been a strong voice for women, for women's health and for a woman's right to choose.

This is a pivotal moment. That's why Hadassah members will be outside the Supreme Court this Wednesday, 47 years after Roe v. Wade, to speak out for reproductive rights with members from Hadassah Greater Washington and Hadassah Professional Councils, along with thousands of other advocates for women.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Hadassah stands unequivocally for a woman's right to choose. You don't need to be in Washington to make your voice heard.

We don't know how the court will rule, but we do know that the Supreme Court deemed a nearly identical bill from Texas to be unconstitutional in 2016 (Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt). In December, Hadassah signed an amicus curiae ("friend of the court") brief with the National Women's Law Center and 71 other organizations, highlighting the extreme, harmful impact on women's economic security, health, safety and autonomy that results from restrictions on a woman's right to choose.

This case is part of a national strategy to create barriers for women's access to reproductive health services and eviscerates the fundamental spirit of Roe v. Wade. In 2019 alone, states enacted over 50 laws that ban or restrict access to reproductive services. Many of us have stood shoulder to shoulder at rallies around the country over the past year — and for decades — not just for reproductive rights, but for Israel and against anti-Semitism.

I hope this week, in honor of Women's History Month, you'll speak out with me and help spread this message for women so that our children and grandchildren will know we did everything we could to protect the rights and health of future generations of women. And let's celebrate all who have done so much to secure our rightful place in history.

Speak Out Now

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