During Pride Month, Central Conference of American Rabbis Affirms Commitment to Broad, Accessible Reproductive Care

June 25, 2024

Reform Jewish rabbinate passes two resolutions pushing back against religiously-motivated attacks to reproductive and fertility care

New York, NY — Amid extremist attacks against freedom of religion across the country, the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR), the rabbinate of the Reform Movement, passed two resolutions affirming its commitment to reproductive, sexual, and fertility care. Political and judicial decisions in states across the country that deny these crucial types of care put the narrow restrictions of one faith over the religious teachings of others, including Judaism.

“Religious extremists are waging campaigns to force parenthood on many by outlawing abortion, and to take the opportunity to parent away from many who desperately want it, including LGBTQ and single parents, with attempts to outlaw IVF. It’s a complete violation of religious freedom. Modern halachists argue that an embryo outside the womb cannot be considered a fetus, and even the rabbis of the Talmud distinguish between a fetus in the womb and one in the process of being born. 

During Pride Month, we reaffirm our commitment to protecting access to fertility care for everyone who wants or needs it. People of all religions must be allowed to make their own choices for their own bodies and families, without interference or limitations from religious traditions that they don’t adhere to,” said Central Conference of American Rabbis CEO Rabbi Hara Person.

“It’s appropriate to be disheartened at this moment in time as we witness essential rights under threat. However, as a movement, our voices are mobilized and strong, countering darkness with light. All the more so during this month of Pride when we celebrate our diverse identities. United we stand in support of inclusion, fertility rights for all and against government interference in the workings of our bodies,” said Rabbi Daniel Mikelberg, CCAR Board Member and spiritual leader of Temple Israel in Ottawa, Ontario.

“I have worked with hundreds of clients seeking to have children and need medical assistance to make that possible. It is horrifying to them to think that the American legal system is able to override their religious beliefs and practices regarding their attempts to have children. Any legislation that forbids access to any reproductive healthcare is in direct violation of the practice and beliefs of Judaism and therefore is not in keeping with the American practice of the separation of church and state,” said Rabbi Idit Solomon, CCAR member and founder of Hasidah, an organization that raises awareness of infertility, provides emotional and spiritual care, and reduces financial barriers to treatment in the Jewish community.


CCAR issued this resolution following the egregious decision by the Alabama Supreme Court declaring embryos created via in vitro fertilization and stored in a medical facility to be “persons” under the law. They write,

The Alabama case that sparked consideration of this current resolution alarms us as Reform rabbis, precisely because it threatens access to fertility treatments and harms those seeking to fulfill the mitzvah of p’ru ur’vu, be fruitful and multiply. The Judge granted a ruling of ‘wrongful death of a minor’ in a situation where existing American legal precedents might have better indicated a ruling of ‘breach of contract.’”

The resolution calls on CCAR members to demand that people be permitted to make their own fertility choices, support employees who seek fertility treatment, teach traditional and contemporary Jewish legal approaches to abortion and the status of embryos and fetuses, and more. Read the full resolution here.


CCAR issued this resolution with the Women’s Rabbinic Network (WRN) as a clarion call to reaffirm their commitment to reproductive and sexual health care as a matter of church-state separation. They write, 

“Above all, Reform Judaism affirms moral agency. God gives each of us the capacity to make informed Jewish decisions that set the course of our lives. As opposed to anti-abortion religious leaders and politicians who broadly seek to impose their religious restrictions into the private lives of pregnant people, we uphold and seek to protect decisions about whether, when, and how to become a parent as a private, personal decision between the child bearer and their health care provider, and anyone else that person seeks into include in their deliberation, such as their friends, family, and their clergy. The government must not enter these personal deliberations, except to protect safety.”

The resolution calls on CCAR and WRN members to continually affirm the legal rights of pregnant people to make their own informed decisions, advocate for medically accurate and religiously unbiased laws and policies, destigmatize abortion by sharing stories and empowering others to share stories, and more. Read the full resolution here.

ABOUT CCAR RESOLUTION: The CCAR applies Jewish thought and texts to current events through the creation of Resolutions. Resolutions are created by the CCAR Resolutions Committee and voted upon by the CCAR Board of Trustees, and inform CCAR policies.

Contact: Marissa Solomon, 734-330-0807, marissa@pythiapublic.com