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Susannah R. Cohen



Monday, January 22nd, marks the 45th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court case, Roe v. Wade. 

In the last few months, my thoughts on the status of women have largely fallen into two categories: the current push to allow individuals and organizations to opt out of offering medical services like abortion and birth control if they have religious or moral objections, and the intense cultural and media conversation on sexual harassment and assault, often referred to as the #MeToo movement. At first look, these issues seem fairly disparate, linked only in that they both...

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Woman with hands over her face as if distraught

The last few weeks have brought an onslaught of stories exposing powerful men committing various acts of sexual violence against women. So many stories have arisen that there are now stories tracking the number of stories, an unyielding and deeply sad reminder that women are often not safe in their own bodies.

When I turn to our sacred texts for guidance about this issue, I am forced to confront our long history of gender-based violence, evident in the many instances of sexual violence perpetrated against women in our own tradition. For many, myself included, the rape of Dinah...

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