Messianic Pro-Life Organization Recognized by Israeli Knesset for its Life-Saving Work

(from left to right)Sandy Shoshani, Director of Be'ad Chaim, Gilie Grant, Assistant Director, Tony Sperandeo, Chairman of the Board

The Israeli Pro-Life Organization, Be’ad Chaim – the Hebrew translation for “For Life” – was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation by the Israeli Knesset in the beginning of July.

Marking the International Women’s Health Day in the Knesset, the certificate was presented to Be’ad Chaim for their work and contribution to women’s health in Israel.

Be’ad Chaim’s Hotline rings on a daily basis. The calls are usually from women who need support following an unexpected pregnancy, but to the complete surprise of the office staff two weeks prior to the award ceremony, the phone rang and on the line was a representative from the Israeli Knesset.

Be’ad Chaim staff received the award in the presence of Health Minister Yaakov Litzman, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein and several Knesset members like Shuli Mualem (from the Jewish Home Party), who was responsible for choosing this organization to be recognized.

Receiving such significant appreciation marks a milestone for Be’ad Chaim staff and the organization – especially considering that in recent years, and ironically with an Orthodox Religious Minister of Health in power; there has been an increase in the number of abortions performed in Israel.

Background on Be’ad Chaim 

Tony Sperandeo, the Chairman of the Board, established this non-profit organization around 1980 (registered as a non-profit in 1989), and Be’ad Chaim began its work when Tony and several friends began to pray about the topic of abortion. Through leaflets distributed to passers-by their desire was to raise awareness about the process the mother and unborn baby go through during an abortion procedure, as well as point out the fact that abortion is a sin against God.

Be’ad Chaim accepts the findings of modern science that indicate that human life begins at fertilization. As a result, they work to raise public awareness not only of scientific facts, but also moral principles related to abortion, which involves revealing the medical evidence relating to embryonic development as well as the physical and emotional related complications that could arise in a woman as a result of an abortion.

Opposition to abortion is not based solely on a religious outlook on life as there is even a quote, “Even if God does not exist, the fetus does.”

Be’ad Chaim has grown over the years and now has more than a dozen counseling centers in several locations across Israel, as well as the available telephone hotline for women with an unwanted pregnancy. The purposed of the hotline is to make initial phone contact with women in crisis pregnancy and then refer them to their local counselor for personal contact. The local counselors provide information, counseling and practical help when needed, support during pregnancy and after the birth. Practical help is offered through our Operation Moses project.

Be’ad Chaim also cares for women after abortions and offers private or group counseling for those who suffer from Post Abortion Syndrome as well as a visit to the Gardens of Life.

Recognition of Be’ad Chaim by the State of Israel

Be’ad Chaim is not the only organization that works in the field of protecting mothers and their unborn babies. The reason that this particular association receives awareness from the Knesset and positive recognition from the Ministry of Social Welfare is thanks to their acceptance and inclusion of others. Be’ad Chaim does not distinguish between religion and nationality, as opposed to other organizations that work solely with Jews. Be’ad Chaim receives inquiries from Jews and non-Jews alike; people with various religious backgrounds – Jewish, Arab, Orthodox and Secular.

For this reason the Ministry of Social Welfare and individual social workers often refer women to Be’ad Chaim on a daily basis.

Abortion Statistics in Israel

About one in every five pregnancies in Israel ends in abortion.

The criteria for approval of an abortion in Israel are:

  • The woman’s age: if she is under 17 or over 40
  • Chance of fetal abnormality, malformation or potential disability
  • Conception as the result of an illegal/unlawful relationship such as rape, incest or if the girl is not married
  • Mental or physical distress of the woman
  • A married woman who becomes pregnant as a result of an adulterous relationship

Israel is rated the first in the number of tests performed during pregnancy and the number of recommendations to abort if there is fear of congenital or genetic abnormality.When it is found that there is an abnormality in the unborn baby, 75% of the time, doctors will advise women to have an abortion.

A woman or girl who got pregnant out of wedlock can obtain permission in Israel to terminate the pregnancy without the knowledge or consent of her parents or a responsible guardian.

Terminations of pregnancies are performed in a Ministry of Health hospital.

About 20,000 abortions a year are financed from state funding; the rest are done privately. There are medical committees who have to approve the terminations and they approve 98% of the requests that come to them.

75% of soldiers who become pregnant during their military service choose to abort. he army facilitates the abortion process, helping women get a quick abortion. The army allows soldiers to have two or three abortions during her two year service. Abortion costs are covered through the soldier’s health coverage.

Since the establishment of the State in 1948, about 2 million known abortions have been carried out in the country.

Be’ad Chaim aims to raise abortion awareness in the future by giving lectures in schools, which have not been approved up to this point. Currently they also are actively approaching the Ministry of Health and various Knesset offices about the issue.

Be’ad Activities

After receiving the award, Sandy Shoshani the National Director of Be’ad Chaim recalled, “When they approached me about taking on the management of Be’ad Chaim in 2005, I had never considered that the subject of abortion would become my primary occupation. While I was considering, I read the verse from Proverbs 24:11-12:

Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering towards slaughter. If you say, ‘But we knew nothing about this,’does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done?

After reading this verse, I could not refuse the offer. I understood I could not deny the fact that the killing is happening daily. I believe that neither I nor we can sit idly by and remain silent especially considering the numbers that keep rising.”

“Gardens of Life” and Post-Abortion Trauma

Women who have had abortions often carry with them a sense of regret and difficult memories from the time of the abortion.

Be’ad Chaim assists these women and provides counseling and other activities to help in the healing process.

LatrunForestPanoramic3Some of the activities include inviting women to plant a tree in the Latrun Forest in memory of their unborn baby. Even women who have had a natural miscarriage come to the place; the lovely idea of planting life in place of the baby that has gone helps ease the pain slightly.

“Operation Moses” – Practically meeting the needs of the mother in the first year after giving birth

The project began in 2006 with the aim of providing for all the needs of the mother in the first year after giving birth. The mother receives products like a crib, dresser, diapers, wipes, clothing and other maternal and baby-related products.

One of the main reasons for abortion today is because of economic difficulties. When a woman is asked if she would continue the pregnancy if she were to receive financial support in the first year, the vast majority of women say yes.

The name of the operation is based on the Biblical story of Moses being rescued by Pharaoh’s daughter despite Pharaoh’s attempt to kill all male infants. Pharaoh’s daughter not only saved the baby, but provided for all his needs.

“Operation Moses” has helped save over 1500 babies who were likely to “be thrown away”.

This project and the rest of Be’ad Chaim’s activities are supported primarily by believers outside of Israel.

Sandy said, “We have contributors from around the world, even from China, Finland, and other countries in Europe, Hawaii and the United States. The feeling is that donors are embracing our country by giving to this important goal. They not only contribute money to meet the needs of the baby, but are able to pray for the baby and family. Sponsors receive a short letter about the family’s situation. When possible, a photo is included.

Visit the Be’ad Chaim website to learn more about their life-saving work.