The curious consensus of Jews on Abortion
The article goes into pretty great detail on theological (and historical-theological) views on abortion within Judaism, and concludes that it can’t account for this overwhelming support.
My suspicion is that this is all driven by an out-group mentality. The face of anti-abortion is the enraged Christian Right. The same sort of people who want to put nativity displays in town halls and hyperventilate about the supposed “War On Christmas”.
And really, I think the consensus of American Jewry is that these sorts of positions, while not perhaps anti-jewish in intent (because who can see into the heart of hearts of Bill O-Reilly), are pretty anti-jewish in effect. Because their vision for America doesn’t have any place for us in it.
Is it any wonder that we don’t want to associate with these people?
That different Jews have disparate views is not news. What is news is when most Jews agree on a particular idea or approach. And so it is with the curious consensus of Jews on abortion.
In mid-2012, the Public Religion Research Institute (“PRRI”) published its findings from a 2012 survey of Jewish values (the “Jewish Values Survey”). The survey sought to measure the opinions of American Jews on a wide variety of political and economic issues, as well as with respect to certain religious beliefs and practices.
While Jews varied considerably in their views of a wide range of topics, on one – abortion – they were not only reasonably cohesive in their attitude, but strikingly different from other groups.
Essentially regardless of denominational affiliation or demographics, American Jews think abortion should be legal in all (49%) or almost all (44%) cases. That is, fully 93% of all American Jews support legalized abortion in some fashion