Jewish Politicians Weigh In on the Abortion Debate

October, 31 2012

Earlier this week, former Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) reassured Jewish voters in Ohio that women’s abortion rights would remain intact should Mitt Romney win the presidency next week.

Norm Coleman photo courtesy Shutterstock.

“President Bush was president eight years, Roe v. Wade wasn’t reversed,” Coleman said at a meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition. “It’s not going to be reversed.” However, the remarks have done little to calm growing fears on the left that the Republican Party would clamp down on women’s rights. (Coleman later had to walk back some of his comments, explaining that he was speaking for himself, not Romney.)

Former Clinton official Ann Lewis has spoken out in the wake of Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock’s recent statement that he does not favor abortion even in cases of rape or incest—“even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that is something that God intended to happen,” he said. “The ability of women and their families to be able to choose their own personal options is an essential part of women’s ability to life fully human lives,” writes Lewis, who is currently a member of the National Jewish Democratic Council’s Chairman’s Council. “That means protecting our right to make our health care decisions, according to our own faith—and yes, our own opinions about what is God’s will.”

Meanwhile, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) explains why a Romney presidency would be bad for women—and for Jews. “When it comes to a woman’s right to choose, the Romney-Ryan ticket is about as extreme as it gets, she writes in Haaretz. “Ninety-five percent of Jewish Democrats support abortion rights in all or most cases, along with 77 percent of Jewish Republicans. We need a leader who we know can trust to protect a woman’s right to make her own decisions, not Mitt Romney who would take that away.”


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