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Saperstein: "Mandatory waiting periods, restrictions on doctors' ability to make medical judgments, the violence that this year took the life of Dr. George Tiller and that threatens other abortion providers each day - these are all constant reminders of the work that remains to be done to protect the rights established by Roe."
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WASHINGTON, D.C., Jan. 22, 2010 - In observance of the 37th anniversary of the Supreme Court's landmark decision in Roe v. Wade, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:
As we do each year on the anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision guaranteeing women privacy and autonomy over their bodies, we pause to commemorate this significant victory in the fight for reproductive choice and to reflect on the work that remains to be done to preserve and strengthen reproductive rights for all Americans.
The Roe decision was an affirmation that women are both capable and entitled to make moral decisions about their lives and well-being. And yet despite the passage of nearly forty years, women's reproductive rights remain fragile. Mandatory waiting periods, restrictions on doctors' ability to make medical judgments, the violence that this year took the life of Dr. George Tiller and that threatens other abortion providers each day - these are all constant reminders of the work that remains to be done to protect the rights established by Roe.
On this anniversary, we recommit ourselves to ensuring that students receive medically accurate, comprehensive sexuality education in public schools, that all women have access to contraception and other reproductive health services, as well as safe abortions, and, critically, that health insurance plans offer reproductive care and the same level of coverage for contraception as they do for other prescription drugs.
The Reform Jewish Movement has long affirmed its unwavering commitment to the protection and preservation of women's reproductive rights. As we approach the fourth decade since Roe v. Wade, we will continue to fight to protect these rights with the full knowledge of how fundamental, and how vulnerable, those rights are.