Rabbi Saperstein: "These attacks against choice and against women's health, against doctors' judgment to care for their patients, represent one of the too many modern plagues we face today, so many of which will be made worse by the proposed House budget."
Contact: Eric Harris or Deborah Swerdlow
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WASHINGTON, D.C., April 8, 2011 -- The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism joined more than 30 pro-choice, pro-women's health organizations and thousands of activists yesterday for the Stand Up for Women's Health Advocacy Day.
Religious Action Center staff members took leading roles in the day's events: Eisendrath Legislative Assistant Deborah Swerdlow took a lead role planning and coordinating the faith community's participation; Press Secretary Eric Harris spearheaded the coalition's social media strategy; Legislative Director Barbara Weinstein spoke at an interfaith lobby training. Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center, delivered remarks at the closing event on Capitol Hill.
Throughout the day, RAC staff joined activists from across the country who collectively made more than 250 lobby visits to Members of Congress, advocating for reproductive rights and women's health.
An excerpt of Rabbi Saperstein's remarks appears below:
"In just 10 days, Jews all over the world will begin celebrating Passover, when we recall our ancestors' exodus from slavery in Egypt to freedom in the Promised Land. So we know about difficult journeys. The first time Moses found the courage to lobby Pharaoh and say, "Let my people go," his words fell on deaf ears. So, too, the second time. Pharaoh's heart was hardened. So, too, the third time. And the fourth time. Not until after the 10th plague, after Moses had lobbied Pharaoh 10 prior times, did Pharaoh finally relent and do the right thing. And beyond Moses' lobbying, it took the people of Israel marching together to bring them the freedoms they desired.
"These attacks against choice and against women's health, against doctors' judgment to care for their patients, represent one of the too many modern plagues we face today, so many of which will be made worse by the proposed House budget. We see that the hearts of too many of our leaders are hardened. But rest assured, as Martin Luther King, Jr., said, 'The arc of history is long, but it bends toward freedom.' The call for freedom -- this time, the freedom to choose -- will again prevail. Moses did not give up and neither should we."