Hadassah Statement on Women’s Reproductive Rights

I’m proud of Hadassah’s longstanding commitment to advancing women’s health, through the exemplary research and care at Hadassah Medical Organization in jerusalem, as well as our  health  and education and grassroot advocacy here in the Unite States.

On the heels of Mother’s Day and National Women’s Health Week, we learn about the brazen assaults on women’ reproductive health across the country and, once again, Hadassah is speaking out.

30 years ago, then National President Carmela Kalmanson passionately declared to Hadassah Convention delegates, “The real question, my friends, is who makes the choice: the government or women? At Hadassah we stand with the women.”

We again face the same question, and our answer has not changed. Hadassah has and always will stand unequivocally for securing women’s reproductive rights and empowering them with the knowledge to make critical health decisions for themselves and their families.

For decades, Hadassah members and leaders mobilized for reproductive freedom — passing policy statements, advocating at the state and national level, and attending rallies around the country.

With the support of Hadassah’s Executive Committee, I, as the National President of Hadassah, reaffirm our commitment to ensure that women – not elected officials or employers – control their own bodies and family planning decisions.

Reproductive health choices, based on full and accurate medical information an d guidance must be made in accordance with a woman’s own religious, moral and ethical values.

Join us in speaking out.  Urge your federal officials to support women’s preventive health and proactive reproductive rights legislation.    Stay informed about state and local policies involved in these community efforts.  As legal actions present challenges to the constitutional protections of Rove v. Wade, we will inform you about Hadassah’s involvement in relevant amicus curiae (“friends of the court’) briefs in support of our policies and other opportunities to take action

Ellen Hershkin
National President
Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist organization of America, Inc. (HWZOA)
40 Wall Street
New York, NY 10005

About the Author
Ellen Hershkin is the 26th National President of Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Inc. (HWZOA) after having served in numerous key board and committee positions for over four decades. As part of a fourth generation Hadassah Life Member family, her service to Hadassah encompasses her passion for Zionism, advocacy, and medical research. Ellen has been a two-time recipient of the Woman of the Year Award from the Dix Hills Hadassah Chapter in 1977 and from the Hadassah Suffolk Region in 1984. She was also recognized by the Dix Hills Chapter with the National Leadership Award and the Love of a Lifetime Award. In May 2006, the Suffolk Council of Jewish Organizations bestowed its highest honor on her for leadership, commitment and dedication to Jewish life. In addition to her work for Hadassah, Ellen has served on the boards of the Jewish National Fund, the United Israel Appeal Board of Trustees, the Suffolk Council of Jewish Organizations and was a member of the American Jewish Congress Women’s Roundtable. She serves on the executive boards of her local civic association and of the Friends of Israel Sports Center for the Disabled in Ramat Gan, Israel, of which she is a founding member.
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