TO MARK THE 47th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, National Council of Jewish Women/Essex Section held Roe 2.0: The New Era of Reproductive Rights on Jan. 28. More than 200 people attended the Lunch & Learn at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in Short Hills, among them representatives of numerous reproductive rights groups, 26 of which were event cosponsors.
Attorney, writer, and professor Katie Watson, author of “Scarlet A: The Ethics, Law, and Politics of Ordinary Abortion,” delivered the keynote address.
“The abortion cases we discuss most are the ones that occur least,” said Watson.
She urged her listeners to shift the discussion of abortion from the “politics of sympathy” to the “politics of respect and solidarity,” explaining that support of abortion should not be based on whether a person is in agreement with the woman’s need for an abortion, but should rather stem from an acceptance that this is a decision for a woman to make.
“I don’t know what the future holds” regarding Roe v Wade’s being upheld, Watson said, “but we know it’s going to be different.” She encouraged a focus on reproductive justice, and not just reproductive freedom, emphasizing that there are many barriers to accessing abortions, including cost.
Jordan Goldberg, director of policy at the National Institute for Reproductive Health and its Action Fund, also spoke, highlighting the need to be engaged on the topic of abortion rights, as “restriction will be incremental.”