Human Life Is Worth the Inconvenience
Abortion is only troublesome if human life is special (“Where Religion Falls Short,” Jan. 31). If it is not special, then a woman’s decision to abort her pregnancy would be of no more moment than for any other medical procedure.
As a Jew, I would never wish to force upon a woman the burden of caring for a child that she does not want. But upward of a million abortions per year are performed in the United States. The numbers are clearly beyond the usual rape, incest and for the health of the mother reasons. The attitude toward abortion is so cavalier that a woman can abort for no reason at all.
Apart from any religious dogma, societies the world over prosecute murder because as a species we do consider human life worth protecting. Given our special Jewish history as victims of attitudes wherein Jews were not thought deserving of protection from murder, it saddens me that so many of my fellows think that women would be relegated to second-class status were Roe v. Wade overturned.
Safe and legal abortions were performed long before the Roe decision in 1973. In Philadelphia before Roe, two doctors would sign a note certifying that ending a pregnancy was for the health of the mother and a dilatation and evacuation would be performed. Is it such a nuisance to require a step or two before an abortion? An inconvenience? Is human life special?
I have no opinion whether New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is an apostate to his religious upbringing, but I do wish Jewish opinion leaders were more sensitive to the implications of abortion on demand.
Stanley R. Askin | Elkins Park
Leave Religion Out of Lawmaking
I know that some in our community believe that more progressive Jews put abortion rights above other important issues to the Jewish community that should be of higher priority (“Where Religion Falls Short,” Jan. 31). I see the issue as clearly important to our community. Those wishing to make abortion illegal do so out of sincerely held religious beliefs.
As a religious minority, it’s important that we fight to keep religious belief separate from laws. Many of those who fear the implementation of Sharia law around the world have no problem fighting for laws that are based in their own religion’s tradition. Even our beloved Jewish state of Israel doesn’t force its citizens to adhere to the beliefs of the majority. l
Jeffrey L. Erlbaum | Lafayette Hill