A prominent Israeli Religious Zionist rabbi defended the US Supreme Court’s ruling overturning Roe v. Wade last Friday, and castigated pro-choice advocates for imposing “backwards” views on modern society.
Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, the chief rabbi of Tzfat (Safed), penned an opinion piece published Tuesday morning backing the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organizationdecision Friday, and assailing abortion as “primitive”.
“There are some who say that a woman’s right over her body trumps the fetus’ right to life, and trumps even democracy,” wrote Rabbi Eliyahu.
“The US Supreme Court ruled that under the Constitution, it is permissible for state lawmakers in all 50 US states to determine whether to outlaw the murder of living fetuses, that according to the justices of the US Supreme Court those who seek to bar lawmakers from representing public opinion are dictators.”
“All kinds of ‘advanced’ people opposed to the justices’ decision believe the ruling to be illegitimate,” Rabbi Eliyahu continued, describing the instant backlash from pro-choice activists in the wake of Friday’s ruling. “They told everyone that the US Supreme Court decision belongs to Trump’s ‘forces of darkness’, and they claimed that the Supreme Court issued an illegitimate ruling that has taken the US back fifty years.”
“Don’t listen to these ‘enlightened’ people, who want to take us back two thousand years, to the dark ages of Rome and Greece – you have the right to believe that life is sacred and murder is backward. You have the right to say openly that life is more important that a vacation in the US, a new car, or master’s degree. You have the right to believe that murdering a fetus is primitive and backward, not advanced or enlightened.”
Following the court’s ruling Friday, the Reform Movement of North America issued a statement condemning the decision, accusing the Court of stripping “women and others who can become pregnant of the fundamental right to make essential health care decisions free of governmental interference.”
Two Orthodox Jewish groups, the Coalition for Jewish Values and Agudath Israel of America, both lauded the decision, while the Orthodox Union refused to “either mourn or celebrate” the ruling, criticizing both abortion on demand, and “absolute bans on abortion” – though the Court’s ruling does not itself impose any ban.