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Birth Control

Losing Their Religion: A Law Professor Looks at Hobby Lobby

There are many reasons I think the Supreme Court is wrong as a legal matter in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby. I think corporations are entitled to certain kinds of basic economic privileges, but I don’t think corporations are “people” under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) or the First Amendment.

Battling Bella for Introverts

“Women have been trained to speak softly and carry a lipstick. Those days are over.” —Bella Abzug

Bella Abzug held office in the House of Representatives some forty years ago, and since then, what she said has been proven: those days are over. Women aren’t being trained to speak softly anymore, at least not uniformly. Outspoken women are allowed to put themselves out there.

Enthusiastic agitators: Jewish women on birth control

I'm not the first one to point out how outrageous it is that in 2012, birth control is a controversial political issue. In these trying times, it helps to look back to the Jewish women who have come before us--and already fought this war for us--for outrage, guidance, and inspiration.

Below are some thoughts from Jewish women on contraception, taken from the handy book, The Quotable Jewish Woman, edited and compiled by Elaine Bernstein Partnow.

Institute of Medicine recommends that birth control be covered by private insurers

When I was a young adult and ready to start on the birth control pill, I found that its cost was not covered by my health insurance. Paying the retail price was onerous. It didn’t seem right that insurance wouldn’t cover contraception, though it did cover the cost of giving birth and possibly even abortion. It just didn’t make any sense.

Now, finally, the federal government is ready to rectify the situation, and make contraception more economically accessible to women and men by requiring health insurance to cover its cost.

The personal is political: Rep. Jackie Speier tells her abortion story

Being pro-choice means a lot of things: Above all else, it means supporting a woman’s right to choose what happens to her body during pregnancy, abortion included. But because the stigma surrounding abortion is still so, well, stigmatized, “being pro-choice” is often just an amorphous concept (albeit a powerful one) without real faces or stories behind the crusade to ensure women’s rights.

Protect Planned Parenthood

Nothing makes me sadder than the idea that Planned Parenthood would lose its government funding–something that, if some people in Congress get their way, could become a reality. Representative Mike Pence is currently sponsoring a bill that would deny government funding to any organization that provides abortions, regardless if they use government funds to pay for them.

Trusting women: A look back

Today is the 37 anniversary of the Supreme Court's legalization of abortion in the Roe v. Wade decision, and as such, it's also NARAL's 5th annual Blog for Choice Day. The question NARAL has posed for this year is "What does Trust Women mean to you?" And I've chosen to answer this as historians do best -- by dipping into the archives for a story about Jewish women and reproductive rights that goes back much farther than 1973.

"New York Times" reviews "Our Bodies, Ourselves"

March 13, 1973

The "New York Times" reviewed the first edition of "Our Bodies, Ourselves." Nine of the 12 women who first formed the collective that created this groundbreaking women's health reference were Jewish.

Elsie K. Sulzberger

Elsie K. (Elsepet Kohet) Sulzberger had an important public career through her leadership in the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) and in the early twentieth-century birth control movement.

Rahel Straus

Rahel Goitein Straus, one of the pioneering women medical doctors trained in Germany, can serve as a model precursor to the “New Jewish Women” of the twentieth century. Successfully combining a career as a physician with marriage and motherhood, she adhered to traditional Jewish values, while also embracing feminist and Zionist ideals.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Birth Control." (Viewed on October 2, 2014) <http://jwa.org/tags/birth-control>.

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