Free abortions are now being offered to women in Israel, according to The Times of Israel, Dr. Yonatan Halevy, head of Israel’s Health Ministry commission; due to changes in the government funded or “health baskets.” All abortions will now be funded by the government; and a woman must be between the ages of 20 to 33 to undergo the procedure.
“We want large families in Israel. We definitely encourage birth. But when pregnancy occurs and it is undesired or inadvertent, I think we should supply the means to end the pregnancy properly,” Halevy said.
Although government funded abortions have been in existence for several years, the new policy makes changes to the coverage and accessibility of abortions. In the past, women at the age of 20 or, over the age of 40 were offered free abortions. Additionally, with the new abortion guidelines, women do not need a reason to terminate pregnancy. Politicians state that the new guideline is “among the world’s most liberal”. There is no country in the world where its citizens are entitled to public funding for such a wide basket of services,” Halevy stated.
However, abortion advocates believe abortion rights have advanced due to the new policy. Leaders in Israel oppose the new guidelines. Chief Rabbi of Israel, Yona Metzger, and Chief Sephardic Rabbi of Israel Shlomo Amar stated in a letter, “As in [the] past, we call on all rabbis in Israel … [to support] the severe prohibition of abortion.” Abortion is “murder,” they said.
According to Life Site News, Dr. Eli Schussheim, director of the pro-life organization stated in a letter, “Israel has lost more than one and a half million Jewish children to abortion since 1948. In a country of about 5.5 million Jews, this number has great demographic significance. Imagine how much stronger Israel would have been today with one million more Jews.”
Although abortions are readily available for Israeli women, pro-life groups are still begging women not to terminate their pregnancy.
The groups feel that, “abortion means ending the life of child who is not sufficiently developed to survive outside its mother’s womb. Although the vast majority of abortions are performed on socio-economic grounds, an abortion does not resolve financial or social difficulties. Very often, the psychological scars caused by an abortion only serve to complicate existing problems. Sometimes, it takes women a lifetime to resolve these issues. Economic and social problems can be worked out. Situations can—and do—change. But a life can never be restored. In our thirty-five years of experience educating women, we have never seen a woman who regretted having her baby.”