Jewish groups oppose abortion amendment


WASHINGTON (JTA) — Three Jewish organizations are opposing an amendment to House health care legislation restricting federal funding of abortion.

The National Council of Jewish Women, the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism and the American Jewish Congress say the provision should be taken out of the bill.

The amendment bans any government funds from going toward abortion except in the cases of rape, incest and when the mother’s life is in danger. It prohibits anyone who receives a government subsidy to buy insurance from purchasing a plan that includes abortion.

NCJW said the bill "does not fully meet women’s health care needs" because of the "draconian" provision, which it called an "egregious assault on the rights of women and an enormous step backward for those who believe in the separation of religion and state."

The Religious Action Center was much more praiseworthy of the health care bill as a whole, saying it is "a crucial step toward affordable, accessible and quality health care for all Americans," but said it could not ignore the abortion provisions. The group said it was "an attack on the rights enshrined in Roe vs. Wade."

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