Government funded abortions are available to women in Israel who meet one of several criteria. The criteria include pregnancy out of wedlock, health issues affecting the mother or baby, and the mother’s age. A recent law allows for free abortions for women under 32 years old, but it seems this has not been applied in actual fact. The Pregnancy Termination Committees approve 98.5% of applications for abortion.
The army facilitates abortions for female soldiers who request them, providing two abortions during their two years of mandatory service. Many liberals feel that abortions should be funded unconditionally for all women during the first trimester. Several feminist Knesset members have recently submitted a proposal to cancel the Committees. As a result, abortion has become an increasingly more popular topic in the media.
Amongst the media discussions going on about the pros and cons of abortions an excellent article appeared, written by Israeli attorney Dr. Pnina Lifshitz Aviram, lecturer at the Zefat Law School.
Her key points are:
– In an age when personal rights are so highly valued, the rights of the unborn child (fetus) must also be considered – Abortion is the extinction of a living fetus.
– The woman’s considerations regarding abortion may be related to her finances, emotions and so on, rather than to the fetus.
– Perhaps the fetus isn’t a person, as the term is usually defined, with rights and responsibilities, but he’s surely not a non-person.
– An Israeli court has ruled that parents have the right to choose not to be parents. The question is: Does this right apply before or after conception? The question must consider not only the rights of the parents but the rights of the unborn child.
– The “Committee to Terminate Pregnancy” presently has the authority to decide “who will live and who will die.” It can choose “perfect” people over “imperfect” people. In a society that knows about embryonic development, it is dangerous to decide what “kind” of people will live in the next generation.
– In Israel, it is common to carry out genetic selection because the fetus is considered part of the mother’s body until birth.
– The very high percentage of abortion in Israel is a warning that our legislators must seriously consider the morality of our decisions on this issue. We can’t leave the decision regarding the life of the unborn to abortion committees.
Be’ad Chaim continues to meet with and urge Knesset members to consider the impact of abortion on our society. We believe there are moral, spiritual and physical consequences to the shedding of innocent blood in our Land.
Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” And he said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to Me from the ground. (Genesis 4:9-10)
We are the brothers, mothers, fathers and sisters of the unborn children who cannot speak for themselves. We are the “keepers” of these little ones.
This article originally appeared in Be’ad Chaim Life News, Spring 2017, and reposted with permission.