I just found a most interesting document giving in layman's terms the Jewish position on abortion [pdf]. The document is authored by Rabbi Raymond A Zwerin and Rabbi Richard A. Shapiro. It is a very interesting document and only four pages long so it is well worth a read. It also provides a basis for deeper research. However, let me quote you the conclusion.
Due to the general leniency in matters of abortion, as well as a long standing Jewish insistence of the separation of religion and government in American life all four non-Orthodox Jewish movements - Reform, Reconstructionist, Conservative, and Humanist - are on record as opposing any governmental regulation of abortion. Moreover, many Orthodox authorities take the same position. What ever their opinion of abortion in any given situation, a vast majority of Jewish thinkers agree that decision making with respect to abortion must be left in the hands of the woman involved, her husband, her physician, and her rabbi. Out of this context in consonance with her Jewish heritage she can make a decision as she is permitted to do by the US Constitution.Let me add that there is no definitive rule in Jewish law and decisions are made on a case by case basis taking into consideration the people involved, their personalities, their mental and physical health and other considerations (even the standing in the community i.e. such as serious loss of face that might imperil a woman's mental health in a case of adultery) according to the judgment of those involved. In all cases the fetus is considered the property of the woman and not an independent human being until it has at least partially exited the woman. Let me add that if the life of the woman is imperiled in the judgment of those involved abortion is mandatory. Such cases can include thoughts of suicide by the woman.
Now I understand my mothers insistence that I resist the abortion absolutists in the Republican Party.
Cross Posted at Classical Values