Many Jewish leaders in Massachusetts are expressing a strong sense of dismay and anger over the draft ruling leaked this week that indicates the U.S. Supreme Court intends to overturn Roe v. Wade.

“I considered getting up on my pulpit this Friday and screaming for about ten and a half minutes — the length of a typical sermon,” said Pittsfield rabbi Liz Hirsch, who is on the rabbinic advisory council of the National Council of Jewish Women, and a part of their "Rabbis for Repro" movement. “But instead, I'm going to continue to preach from our tradition that reproductive health and choice is within Jewish values,” said Hirsch, “Each and every one of us is holy, not some people more than others who get to make decisions about people's health and people's bodies.”

Hirsch and others say that Judaism’s traditions and scriptures create broad consensus across different Jewish branches and denominations on the foundational nature of reproductive rights for women

Rabbi Laura Abrasley with Temple Shalom of Newton, a reform congregation, said Jewish teachings clearly state that the fetus is part of the mother’s body until birth.

“And really going back from the Torah, to the Talmud, to the time of Jewish law, in my mind, is that if the mother's life is in danger, her life takes precedence over the fetus,” Abrasley said. “I think 80 to 90% of the Jewish community really kind of understands that the right to reproductive care, in particular, including the right to abortion, is part of Jewish values and Jewish tradition.”

A Pew Research Center pollfrom 2014 found that 83% of American Jews believe that abortion should be legal in all or most cases.

Jeremy Burton, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston, representing some 40 local Jewish organizations, said Jews don't necessarily embrace the position of conservative Christians that life begins at conception.

“That is a belief, not a scientific data point,” Burton said. “Within the Jewish tradition, we have a different approach to understanding the beginning of life, and a different approach to understanding how one balances the value of the fetus and the value of the person who is pregnant," he said.

"It's not just the faith, it is the law and the practice of our civilization going back thousands of years.”

Burton called the reasoning in the leaked draft opinion written by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito “extreme.” He said local Jews are extremely concerned about women in states that are likely to ban abortions, and asking what they can do to help them.

“For the organized Jewish community here in Massachusetts, like [for] so many, this is a moment of waiting,” said Burton, “with breath held. And also, preparing for things to be about as awful as one can imagine them being.”

Abrasley said that overturning Roe v. Wade, something many conservative Christians have advocated for decades, “suggests that one religious tradition can decide what is important for another religious tradition.”

“This is not my religious tradition,” Abrasley said. “My religious tradition allows for access to abortion and allows a family to decide what's the best for them, [so] overturning Roe v. Wade would violate my religious right.”

Burton said the end of abortion rights would be “a bizarre and unusual experience.”

“Even when things feel dark and down in our society, it's so easy to point out like, well, things are better than they were, you know?” said Burton. “Things are better than they were under segregation, things are better than they were when women were dying in back alley abortions, things are better than they were when ... being gay was a criminal act in many parts of this country,” Burton said, “I think it's disconcerting, even almost disorienting, to be realizing that we're in a moment where some of that long arc of history seems to be bending backwards.”