Does the First Amendment Protect Jewish Objections to Abortion Bans?

For the Public
Tuesday, February 21, 2023
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM EST

Zoom link to be provided
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Opponents of abortion rights have long argued that the U.S. Constitution has nothing to say about abortion and the issue therefore must be returned to the states. Now that the Supreme Court has adopted this position and overturned Roe v. Wade, many states ban abortion altogether. Some within the Jewish community contend that their faith requires recognizing a woman’s right to an abortion, at least in some circumstances likely prohibited by such bans. This talk will explore whether the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment provides a possible avenue for religious proponents of abortion rights to challenge impending state prohibitions on abortion.

About the “Jewish Law and the Constitution” Series

The familiar talmudic statement dina de-malkhuta dina (the law of the kingdom is the law) doesn’t even begin to cover the complex relationship between Judaism and state law. This series will draw out some signal characteristics of that relationship as it has evolved and unfolded in the orbit of American constitutional law. Each talk highlights one arena in which the legal system has been drawn into conversation with Jewish life and vice versa. Case by case, they tell stories of religion and politics, democracy and minorities, theory and practice: law entangled with law.

Continuing Law Education Credit

This program has been approved for 1.0 Substantive CLE credits for Pennsylvania lawyers. CLE credit may be available in other jurisdictions as well. Attendees seeking CLE credit should make a payment via the online registration link in the amount of $40.00 ($20.00 public interest/non-profit attorneys). In order to receive the appropriate amount of credit, passwords provided throughout the program must be noted in your evaluation form.


Penn Carey Law Alumni receive CLE credits free through The W.P. Carey Foundation’s generous commitment to Lifelong Learning.

About the image above: Catalogue, Belcher Mosaic Glass Company (New York, 1886), Winterthur Museum Library, via


Anne C. Dailey

University of Connecticut School of Law

Anne C. Dailey is the Evangeline Starr Professor of Law at the University of Connecticut School of Law, where she has taught since 1990. She is a graduate of Yale College and Harvard Law School, where she was formerly the articles co-chair for the Harvard Law Review. Professor Dailey’s scholarly work currently focuses on two areas of interest: children and the law, and psychology and the law. Her book, When Rational Minds Differ: Psychoanalysis, Scientific Psychology and Law was published by Yale University Press. In 2002, Professor Dailey was the recipient of the CORST prize from the American Psychoanalytic Association for the best interdisciplinary essay for a paper subsequently published in the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. Since 2009, she has served as a research fellow at the Western New England Institute for Psychoanalysis.

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This event is cosponsored with the University of Pennsylvania Carey School of Law. We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Klatt Family and the Harry Stern Family Foundation.