In Shifra's Arms does not reflect a "Jewish divide" on abortion
A year ago, Washington Jewish Week reported on a new crisis pregnancy center (CPC) called In Shifra’s Arms
I expressed my concerns about In Shifra’s Arms in a post last year
In Shifra’s Arms is now in the news again, with a wire story picked up by Washington Post, Huffington Post, and others. Somewhat misleadingly titled “Crisis pregnancy group reflects Jewish divide on abortion”
Once again, this is where I find In Shifra’s Arms to be built on a problematic set of principles. When women face an unplanned pregnancy, they need to be empowered with accurate information about all their options – parenting, adoption, and abortion. It is condescending and paternalistic to assume that abortion is never the right choice for an individual woman.
While it is wonderful that Perlman has taken down the false claims about abortion, she is still not providing women with the opportunity to have an honest, supportive conversation about their pregnancies. She has a ideological, anti-abortion agenda. Jewish law around abortion is remarkable because it places significant value on a woman’s life and health. The crisis pregnancy center model, built on an extremely conservative concept of Christianity, does not reflect these Jewish values. If In Shifra’s Arms really wants to help Jewish women, it needs to truly listen to their needs, provide comprehensive and honest education, and trust that they know what is best for them and their families.