I was having dinner with my family to celebrate the Jewish New Year when I learned that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had died. As my friend Lauren Johnson Norris posted on Facebook, “According to Jewish tradition, a person who dies on Rosh Hashanah, which began tonight, is a tzaddik, a person of great righteousness. We found that very comforting. So strange to be eating these apples and honey with this sadness.”
We have lost a woman of valor and righteousness. We have lost our warrior and champion.
Salt water next to our apples and honey.
Mixed with our sadness is the acute realization that the tragic loss of Justice Ginsburg means that a woman’s right to control her own body, already under extreme siege, is more in danger now than at any time since Roe v. Wade was decided nearly 50 years ago.
Now, more than ever, we must ensure that our representatives, at every level of government, are fully committed to protecting our fundamental reproductive rights.
I want to share with you the statement released today by my friend and Irvine Community Services Commissioner Lauren Johnson-Norris. It eloquently puts into words what I and many other women are thinking and feeling at this difficult and pivotal moment in our history:
“Justice Ginsburg is an icon for many women, especially women lawyers, because she dedicated her professional life to a singular focus in moving the law toward equality for women. She entered spaces where women were not welcomed and won time and again, not just because of her brilliant mind and persuasive advocacy, but because she stood on the side of equality. As a jurist, she sought to build consensus but, when that was not possible, she provided an essential voice of dissent that spoke truth to power.
The loss of Justice Ginsburg on the United States Supreme Court is devastating at a time when women’s fundamental rights to reproductive health care is under attack. The right of a woman to make autonomous decisions about her own body is the core of her fundamental right to equality and privacy. As a lawyer, mother, and advocate for women, I know that in order to drive equality, we must commit fully and actively to reproductive rights and healthcare for all.”
RBG gave us all she could. She brought us this far. Now it’s our time to carry on the fight, in her name and in her memory, for ourselves, our mothers, our sisters, and our daughters.