Hadassah Adopts Policy Statement on Reproductive Rights

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Josh Silberberg

NEW YORK, NY – Rhoda Smolow, National President, and Naomi Adler, CEO, of Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Inc. (HWZOA), released a statement today following a vote by the HWZOA National Board to adopt a new policy statement on reproductive choice. The statement reaffirms the organization’s unwavering support for women’s full and complete access to reproductive health services and HWZOA’s unequivocal commitment to reproductive rights. 

The statement is the eighth policy statement HWZOA has adopted since 1981 that affirms a woman’s right to reproductive choice.

“Reproductive freedom is about agency and autonomy over our own bodies. It’s about trusting women to make their own choices. Having children should be a conscious choice, a positive choice – not the result of coercion or force. Reproductive health decisions should be based on medical guidance, one’s own values, and what each person feels is best for their health, their family and their future.

“Our nation is on the precipice of rolling back long-established constitutional rights and causing irreparable damage to women’s health. As the largest Zionist women’s organization in America, Hadassah recommits itself to educating and mobilizing our communities in the fight to ensure reproductive freedom for everyone regardless of where they live.  

“Hadassah has fought efforts to curtail access to reproductive care – including many onerous and medically unnecessary restrictions – and we will continue to do so. The courts must uphold constitutional protections for reproductive rights, and elected officials must take legislative action to safeguard access to reproductive health services.”

In keeping with Hadassah’s broader women’s health equity agenda, the statement emphasizes that reproductive health is crucial to, but not the totality of, women’s health.

Hadassah hosted The Road Beyond Roe: Advocating for Reproductive Rights on January 18, 2022 featuring feminist pioneer-activist-writer Letty Cottin Pogrebin, interviewed by writer and journalist Esther Kustanowitz, along with remarks by Representatives Lois Frankel and Sara Jacobs, high-risk pregnancy specialist Dr. Chavi Eve Karkowsky, Hadassah National President Rhoda Smolow and other Hadassah leaders.  

“Hadassah has always been rock solid in its support for reproductive freedom, correctly describing it as crucial to women’s health, bodily integrity, and family privacy,” said Cottin Pogrebin. “I’m grateful for the organization’s stalwart advocacy of this basic constitutional right and of all issues that affirm women’s dignity and full humanity.” 

To watch and read about The Road Beyond Roe: Advocating for Reproductive Rights program, please click here

To read Hadassah’s policy statement, Reaffirming Support for Reproductive Choice, please click here.

About Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America:

Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, is the largest Jewish women’s organization in the United States. With nearly 300,000 members, donors and supporters, Hadassah brings women together to effect change on such critical issues as ensuring Israel’s security, combating antisemitism and promoting women’s health care. Through its Jerusalem-based hospital system, the Hadassah Medical Organization, Hadassah helps support exemplary care for more than 1 million people every year as well as world-renowned medical research. Hadassah’s hospitals serve without regard to race, religion or nationality and in 2005 earned a Nobel Peace Prize nomination for building bridges to peace through medicine. Hadassah also supports two youth villages that set at-risk youth in Israel on the path to a successful future. Visit www.hadassah.org or follow Hadassah on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Threads and X.