Where Do Your Biases About Abortion Lurk?

Anti-abortion sentiment is the smog we live with daily. We have all internalized anti-abortion sentiments and rhetoric that unnecessarily stigmatize and punish people who have abortions, even if we identify as pro-choice/pro abortion. For those of us working directly in abortion care, alignment exercises are a way to discover our biases, sit with discomfort, and work in community to overcome hindrances to true solidarity. 

Understanding our biases is the first step to working through them and overcoming them. Our work is stronger when we understand our relationship to abortion. 

We wanted to offer an abortion alignment exercise that specifically speaks to Jews and Jewish values. We hope that you will find comfort and wisdom in this exercise, and challenge yourself to expand your relationship to abortion and abortion-seekers. We want to thank Ipas and the Emma Goldman Clinic for their abortion alignment exercises that have guided us as reproductive care workers and inspired this activity. 

How to use this chart: 

Answer honestly! There are no wrong answers. 

Answer quickly. If you’re taking more than two or three seconds to think of your response, you’re overthinking. Your first answer is usually your gut answer. 

For groups: 

This exercise is great to do as a group. Whether you are focusing on abortion access for your b’nai mitzvah service project, with your synagogue sisterhood, or just your own friend group of like-minded Jews, this exercise can expand and deepen your understanding of abortion. 

Fill the chart out one question at a time. Have someone read the question out loud and ask if anyone wants to share their response. Is someone on an extreme end of the scale? Did someone change their mind? These experiences are great to share. 

Go into this exercise assuming the best intention from everyone in the group. Do not repeat anything that has been shared. Take the lessons, not the names! 

Tell us what it was like! Share your experiences with Lilith at info@lilith.org with the subject “abortion alignment exercise.”


1 indicates “I completely disagree”, and 5 indicates “I completely agree”

General values around abortion:

Abortion is always acceptable in any circumstance, for any reason, and at any gestational stage.

1    2    3    4    5

Abortion is not a form of birth control/should not be used as birth control or understood as such. 

1    2    3    4    5 

Abortion should be rare

1    2    3    4    5 

 People who have abortions feel some degree of regret or shame

1    2    3    4    5 

People can look back on their abortion positively 

1    2    3    4    5 

Abortion should be accessible without any barriers–waiting periods, financial burden, arbitrary gestational limits, etc

1    2    3    4    

Abortion ends a life

1    2    3    4

Jewish values around abortion:

Jews should not get too many abortions because we lost enough Jews in the Holocaust 

1    2    3    4    5 

Abortion access is a Jewish value

1    2    3    4    5 

Jews have a particular responsibility to speak up on behalf of abortion legality and accessibility 

1    2    3    4    5 

I feel comfortable articulating my understanding of Jewish opinions about abortion

1    2    3   4    5 

I feel it is important to be visibly Jewish in the fight for abortion access

1    2    3    4    5

It is my duty as a Jew to use my privileges to support abortion access (funding abortion, driving patients, clinic escorting, opening my home to travelers, etc)

1    2    3    4    5

I support abortion even if the reason for the abortion is because the father is Jewish. 

1    2    3    4    5

Jews should consult their rabbi before having an abortion. 

1    2    3    4    5

Abortion is not an appropriate topic to discuss in a synagogue. 

1    2    3    4    5

Rabbis should bring up abortion values during marriage counseling. 

1    2    3    4    5

Synagogues should add emergency funding for abortion access if a member cannot afford one. 

1    2    3    4    5

Abortion funds are an appropriate place to give tzedakah. 

1    2    3    4    5

It is more important to show up for abortion access than to attend important Jewish rituals and events (clinic escorting on Saturday mornings rather than attending shul, or attending a march on Yom Kippur)

1    2    3    4    5

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