Late-Term Abortion, Where are the Jews?

I suppose some will say I am a religious nut. I am not. I just ask questions that are uncomfortable.

Isaiah 49:6

I will make you as a light for the nations,

That my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.

Dr. Karl Brandt

In the United States a litmus test that overrides everything is abortion.  It is political Torah.

You are for abortion. You are against abortion.  For many the question of abortion on demand and a woman’s right to choose, a woman’s right to control her own body is sacrosanct. There is no more important issue for extremists than the unrestricted right of a woman to choose, with the advice and counsel of her personal physician, what happens to her and the “thing” growing in her body.

Jewish law is specific.  If the fetus is a threat to the mother’s life, abortion is a reasonable option.  Jews believe in life – period.  Don’t we?

The New York General Assembly, to a cheering crowd of legislators of whom many are Jewish, passed a new law permitting abortion until just before birth if the mother’s life is at risk.  The vagueness of the law and what constitutes risk to a mother’s life, and in whose eyes, will create a major problem.

A firestorm broke out on the media in Virginia and nationally Tuesday. Kathy Tran, (Democrat), a member of Virginia’s House of Delegates proposed new abortion legislation. Tran proposed that abortion be permitted through the very end of a pregnancy if the mother’s health, mental and physical, was at risk.

In public testimony, she was questioned by the Majority Leader of the House of Delegates, Todd Gilbert (Republican).

Gilbert asked Tram about her bill.

“How late in the third trimester could a physician perform an abortion if he indicated that it would impair the mental health of the woman?”  Gilbert asked.

“Or physical health,” Tran added.

“Okay,” Gilbert responded. “I’m talking about the mental health.”

“I mean, through the third trimester,” Tran said. “The third trimester goes up to 40 weeks.”

“Okay, but to the end of the third trimester?” Gilbert asked.

“Yup, I don’t think we have a limit in the bill,” Tran said.

“Where it’s obvious that a woman is about to give birth, she has physical signs that she’s about to give birth, would that still be a point at which she could request an abortion if she was so certified?” Gilbert asked. “She’s dilating.”

Tran made it clear that the decision to abort was between the woman and her doctor.

Gilbert still was not understanding Tran’s bill was permitting the abortion of a healthy baby. He asked Tran if her bill would allow the abortion just before the baby was born.

“My bill would allow that, yes,” Tran said.

The Governor of Virginia, Gov. Ralph Northam (Democrat) was asked Wednesday about the controversial bill with its provisions for abortion of full-term pregnancies and even after the birth of an infant.

Governor Northam answered. “If a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen. The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”

 The mother’s mental health, after birth, could be the determinant if the infant should live or die.

Every major religion in the world struggles with abortion questions.  All come to the same conclusion, late-term abortion is wrong.

86 years ago, German society came to a different conclusion.  They were concerned with the mental and physical health of Germany.

Gesetz zur Verhutung erbkranken Nachwuchses (Law for the Prevention of Hereditarily Diseased Offspring), was adopted by the German Reichstag in 1933.

Initially, the German solution to societal defectives was forced abortion and sterilization. In time, it evolved to the excision, the removal, the “merciful” murder, of those Germany felt were life unworthy of life.

The law, which covered the entire national German population, was applied after a tribunal consisting of a judge, a medical practitioner and a medical officer reviewed each case. In essence, German medicine had been granted the duty to cleanse and remove present and future genetically defective people from Germany.

Abortion was legal and encouraged as long as the physician believed that the fetus would be born genetically defective. The one legal prohibition against abortion was that no healthy Aryan fetus was to be aborted.

The tribunal reviewed Germans for forced abortion, sterilization and later for euthanizing defective people. The Germans, very specifically and deliberately, did not include on the tribunal theologians.  God was very intentionally removed from the decisions involving life and death.

Dr. Karl Brandt ran the German euthanizing programs that would evolve into the Final Solution.  He was executed as a war criminal.

My wife has a first cousin, Simcha. He is a “Black Hat” and a Rosh Yeshivah in Jerusalem.

Simcha, and his wife Rifkah, met us for dinner in Los Angeles. He was on one of his many fundraising trips for the Yeshivah.

Simcha hugged me a large warm hello when we met at the restaurant, but he would not even shake hands with my wife though she offered. The dinner started pleasantly at first.

I guess Simcha wanted to release some angry experience from the day about the disgusting ethics he was finding in America. He brought up the subject of abortion.

Simcha launched into a railing burst of anger as he talked about abortionists.

“They kill, they murder. Abortionists are the lowest vermin on the earth. The Jewish ones, the Jewish doctors who abort Jewish women, should have their souls cut off from everything, may God curse their names,” he hissed.

I sat back and looked at him. The table was quiet after his outburst.

Never one to speak loudly, I was easily heard.

“Simcha, you know that my family were survivors,” I said looking deep into his eyes. “My Uncle, Ezra, was a Doctor. He was a major abortionist.

“There was an audible gasp and curling of lips in anger across from me. I continued, “in the Concentration Camp my Uncle was the Chief Abortionist of Jewish women.

In the Concentration Camp, if a Jewish woman was pregnant, the Nazis killed them immediately”, I continued looking at him calmly. “Should his name be cursed? Should God cut off his soul from everything?” I asked.

Simcha did not answer.

Abortion is a complex issue and not always black and white. One lesson should be learned from the Nazis,

issues of life and death must never be separated from the third interested party when considering an abortion between a doctor and a woman. The third interested party is God.

We Jews like to echo in our chamber of self-righteousness, we are better than other people. Jews are a light, a moral light, unto the world.

Where are the Jews when the issue of late-term abortion of healthy babies is being considered?  Where is the outrage at the immorality that a woman at the very moment of delivery, even shortly afterwards, can demand death for her baby because of mental health concerns? Is the defenseless new life not a potential light unto the world?

Where are the Jews?

About the Author
Jerry is the president and founder of the Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation, www.JASHP.org. He is the son of Survivors of Buchenwald and Bergen Belsen. He is a former Yeshivah student and served with the IDF in the Sinai. He is the author of over 100 articles in publications ranging from the Jerusalem Post to the Prairie Connection to the San Diego Jewish World. Jerry is frequently interviewed on T.V. and Radio about the American Jewish experience. The Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation has completed projects in 33 US. States and in 5 countries. Over 7,000,000 people annually benefit from one of JASHP's projects. JASHP has completed seven projects in Israel. Most recently, the first ever historic memorial to the Exodus in Israel, July 2017. The Exodus was known as the "Ship that Launched a Nation". December 2017, the Machal Memorial in Jerusalem to the 5,000 Jewish and non-Jewish volunteers who came to Israel when they needed her most during the War of Independence.
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