Reproductive Choice

July 2019

Women’s Health

Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, Inc. (HWZOA), reaffirms its unwavering support for full and complete access to reproductive health services and a woman’s right to make health decisions according to her own religious, moral, and ethical values.  Hadassah affirms support for women’s access to contraception as an essential component of their preventive health and recognizes the role that reproductive freedom plays in women’s empowerment, economic equity and security. Hadassah also acknowledges the full spectrum of people, including transgender and nonbinary people, who also need reproductive health care and respect for their bodily autonomy.  

During the last several years, there has been an onslaught of attacks on reproductive rights. State and federal legislators have considered hundreds of bills that would place onerous and medically unnecessary requirements on patients, physicians, and service providers.  State legislatures have passed over 450 restrictions since 2011.  

Hadassah opposes any attempts—through state administrative regulations, legislation, public referendum, or court action—to restrict the right to reproductive choice and/or use of family planning programs delivering any and all services, especially restrictions such as:

  • abortion bans, including but not limited to those that contain no exceptions for rape, incest, fetal anomalies or situations in which the health of the woman is severely threatened by her pregnancy.
  • personhood amendments that define life as starting at conception.
  • the mandate of procedures otherwise deemed medically unnecessary as a means to dissuade women from seeking abortions (e.g., abdominal and transvaginal ultrasounds, pelvic exams).
  • attempts to criminalize the work, enable harassment, or jeopardize the well-being of reproductive health care providers and other personnel.
  • bans on insurance coverage of abortion, requiring abortion riders in cases of pregnancy by rape or incest and proof of reporting those incidences to law enforcement.
  • burdensome and needless regulations on reproductive health centers aimed to force clinic closures.
  • added regulations on the handling of fetal remains that unnecessarily differentiate reproductive health care from other medical protocols.
  • preventive health and family planning funding restrictions that force service providers and other health organizations—in the United States and around the world—to choose between providing comprehensive health education and the essential financial support needed to care for all of their patients.

In order to ensure the constitutional right to safe and legal reproductive health services and support women’s preventive and reproductive health internationally, Hadassah calls upon:

  • Municipal, state, and federal governments to oppose restrictions on access to reproductive health services and to support legislation that will ensure quality, comprehensive reproductive care throughout the United States.
  • Congress to repeal the Hyde Amendment, which prevents low-income women from having complete access to abortion coverage, and the Helms Amendment, which prevents foreign aid from being used for abortion as a method of family planning.
  • The president and executive branch agencies to reevaluate recently instituted rules and orders that jeopardize access to essential preventive health services at home and abroad.

Hadassah urges all units to educate and mobilize their members and communities in support of reproductive rights, including joining in coalitions with other freedom of choice advocacy groups.

Hadassah's Policy Statements represent the organization's official stance on a wide variety of issues facing our nation, Israel and other international matters of concern. Policy Statements are debated and voted on at national meetings by Hadassah’s national board and delegates from our membership. Once approved, statements become official policies of the organization and serve to define Hadassah's overall agenda and advocacy priorities. Hadassah, as a charitable organization classified under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, is prohibited from any direct or indirect support of, or opposition to, candidates for public office.