The Anti-Israel Movement is Hurting All Women

Photo:  Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

The culture of bigotry and anti-Semitism surrounding the Abortion Access and Reproductive Justice movement America is standing in the way of….well, abortion access and reproductive justice in America. Not only have Jewish employees been pushed out of their jobs at these organizations, but now Jewish women will no longer donate to these funds and will re-direct their philanthropy elsewhere. Most importantly, Jewish women will no longer feel safe accessing healthcare through these antisemitic abortion funds. 

The DC Abortion Fund, along with other local abortion funds, inexplicably decided to involve themselves in a conflict thousands of miles away by signing onto the ARC-Southeast letter stating “Reproductive Justice includes Palestinian Liberation.” The amount of Hamas propaganda in this letter should set off alarm bells across the country.  Anyone who knows how to use a search engine could easily check the facts and deem this letter to be full of false information, but it seems the signatories were much more interested in seeing Israel as an oppressor of Palestinian women. 

Interestingly, these organizations have only taken notice of the plight of Palestinian women since Hamas invaded Israel on Oct. 7th.  There were no previous sign-on letters directed to the Palestinian Authority or Hamas in defense of these women. No letters to U.N. Women. Apparently, these signatories weren’t even aware that abortion is illegal in the West Bank and Gaza. If a Palestinian woman wants to access abortion, she would have to go to Israel. In fact, abortion funds are unnecessary in Israel because abortion is rightly considered healthcare in Jewish State.  The procedure is covered by Israel’s universal healthcare system.  Why do so many organizations that claim to support reproductive justice choose to elevate a regime that denies reproductive freedom to their own citizens? 

It seems odd that a local abortion fund would suddenly want to take a position on a very complex foreign policy issue.  It begs the question: Where have their policy papers been on the Middle East conflict before Oct 7th? There are no protests or advocacy for the “Women. Life. Freedom.” movement in Iran from these organizations. There are no policy statements decrying the genocide and gang rapes in Sudan.  Don’t those women deserve liberation too?

Those of us in the reproductive justice movement must unite in opposing all forms of violence against women and using rape as a weapon of war. There have been no statements from these reproductive justice groups in solidarity with the Israeli women who were gang-raped by Hamas and kidnapped into the tunnels of Gaza. Women who are now over six-months pregnant. Why aren’t these organizations advocating for their release? 

We, as a country, should be advocating for all women to have reproductive freedom, not signing on to support a regime that denies women the right to bodily autonomy and punishes the victims of rape. By singling Israel out for the audacity of defending its people, these misguided abortion rights organizations reveal their baseline antisemitism and hatred of Israel…following in the footsteps of Hamas. 

Since the Dobb’s decision, America has become a scary place for reproductive aged women. Yet over 65 abortion funds and other reproductive justice groups have somehow equated reproductive justice with Palestinian “liberation” and found themselves elevating propaganda for a designated terrorist organization. Supporting rapists who mutilate women and force them to become pregnant is not how we help women in America access abortion and reproductive justice.

Reasonable minds can agree or disagree on the policies of the Israeli government, but Zionism does not rely on oppressing the Palestinian people – Hamas’ power does. And now Hamas can rely on local abortion funds to amplify their messaging.

About the Author
Jodi Ochstein is a long-time resident of Washington, DC. She started her career working with non-profit and advocacy groups for progressive and Jewish causes. n addition, Jodi has worked to further the election of Democratic women at both the local and national level while also consulting for woman-owned businesses.
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