After Dobbs: Jewish Advocacy for Abortion Rights

By :  The Jewish Theological Seminary Posted On Sep 11, 2023 / 5783 | Segal Lecture in Law and Ethics | Gender Social Justice

Watch the film “Under G-d”

The Bernard G. Segal Memorial Lecture in Law and Ethics

The U.S. Supreme Court overturned 50 years of constitutional protection for abortion in June 2022. Since the landmark ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, many states have banned or severely limited abortion access, leading the Jewish community to become increasingly involved in advocacy efforts around abortion rights.

On September 11, 2023, JTS screened the acclaimed new documentary short “Under G-d,” introduced by its award-winning director and producer Paula Eiselt. The film chronicles efforts by members of the Jewish community to ensure abortion access, including the successful legal challenge of an Indiana abortion ban based on the principle of religious freedom.

We then heard from two experts on abortion rights: Dr. Michal Raucher (JTS List College, ‘05), scholar of reproduction and religion and Associate Professor of Jewish Studies at Rutgers University, and Dr. Christine Ryan, Associate Director of Columbia Law School’s Law, Rights, and Religion Project, who directs its program on religious liberty and reproductive rights. Our speakers reflected on various legal strategies to counter abortion restrictions and their prospects for broader, long-term success, as well as other initiatives within and beyond the Jewish community to secure and support the right to abortion.


  • To organize a screening of “Under G-d” for your organization or synagogue, please contact the film’s representatives.
  • “Q&A on the Religious Right to Abortion”: This informational resource by Dr. Christine Ryan of Columbia Law School’s Law, Rights, and Religion Project also includes a list of abortion funds and practical support organizations. 
  • “Jews Who Have Had Abortions” Research Study: Dr. Michal Raucher of Rutgers University is conducting a study which aims to gather nuanced data and document the abortion experiences of Jewish people in the United States. If you had an abortion in the U.S. since 1973, identified as Jewish at the time of the abortion, and are currently over the age of 18, you are invited to participate by taking a 30-minute anonymous survey. Eligible participants are also invited to participate in a 45-minute confidential phone interview; sign-up is available in the survey. Interview participants will receive a $10 gift card. Please reach out to Dr. Michal Raucher with any questions.