Requests for abortions in Israel at record high, report says

Central Bureau of Statistics data show 99.5% of requests to terminate pregnancy approved in 2021; 50.1% of applications made by married women, 6.8% by women under 19

Nina Fox
Jan 17, 2023

Requests for abortions in Israel have reached a record high in 2021, says a new Central Bureau of Statistics report published Tuesday.

According to the report, the Health Ministry's pregnancy termination committee had received 16,591 requests to terminate pregnancies, meaning 7.7 out of every 1,000 Israeli women between the ages 15-49 had sought an abortion throughout the year, same as in 2020.


American evangelicals open a new antiabortion front — in Israel

by Shira Rubin
November 18, 2022

JERUSALEM — In a country with one of the world’s most liberal abortion policies, groups funded by conservative American evangelicals are targeting women with a message familiar in the United States but novel to most Israelis: Abortion is “murder.”

The idea resonated with Shir Palla Shitrit, 21, when she first contacted the “pregnancy crisis center” run by Be’ad Chaim — Hebrew for “pro-life.” In an office decorated with fetus diagrams, framed biblical passages and a ceramic sculpture of a breastfeeding mother, counselors offered her a year’s worth of material support and a place in a growing grass-roots community.


Israel abortion reforms approved amid Roe v. Wade crisis

Israel's Labor, Welfare and Health Committee approved abortion reforms, which would allow women easier access to treatment.

JUNE 27, 2022

The Knesset Labor, Welfare and Health Committee on Monday approved abortion reforms in a preliminary reading after the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

The amendment would allow women to apply online to get an abortion and to receive a pharmacological abortion in more accessible places.


The battle over Israel’s abortion laws explained

Possible overturning of landmark US case Roe vs Wade shines spotlight on abortion rights across the world

MAY 28, 2022

The topic of abortion has been much discussed in recent weeks, following the leaking of a US Supreme Court draft indicating the court would vote in favor of overturning Roe vs Wade, the landmark ruling from 1973 that protected a person’s absolute right to an abortion from excessive government restrictions.

The news that the highest court in the US was working to remove these rights that have been enshrined for decades, at a time when other countries such as Northern Ireland and New Zealand have only recently legalized or decriminalized abortion, has sent many reeling and placed a sharp spotlight on abortion rights across the world.


Israel’s health minister wants to make it easier to get abortions

DECEMBER 3, 2021

As the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Washington on the most significant abortion case to reach the court in decades, Israel’s health minister laid out his plans to simplify what he called Israel’s “chauvinistic” abortion process on Wednesday.

“It should be a given — the rights to a woman’s body are the woman’s alone,” Nitzan Horowitz told the Israeli news site Ynet. “Any decision or medical procedure such as the choice of whether to perform an abortion must be in the hands of the woman. We have no moral right to decide for her how to deal with an unwanted pregnancy.”


Israel’s Abortion Rate Continues 32-Year Decline

Experts credit increased access to contraception, sex-ed and population growth


Referrals in Israel to pregnancy termination
committees, from which approval is required before undergoing the procedure,
have been trending downward since 1988, as has the number of abortions
performed, according to new data from Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics

In 2019, the most recent year for which data is available, 17,688 females in
Israel turned to the committees. Some 99.4% were approved for an abortion,
while only 106 applications were rejected.


Progressively Speaking: Abortion laws and police women’s bodies

Rabbi Sylvia Rothschild takes a controversial topical issue and looks at a Reform Jewish angle

July 31, 2020

Kanye West recently launched a bid to become US president on an anti-abortion ticket and the issue has since been in the headlines.

Discussion about abortion is necessarily complex and frequently freighted with contextual perspectives. Yet an examination of Jewish sources reveals that certain matters are clear since Biblical times.


Israeli Anti-abortion Activists Who Used Confidential Info to Influence Women Get Plea Deal

Israeli Anti-abortion Activists Who Used Confidential Info to Influence Women Get Plea Deal
State won't request jail time for activists who obtained personal details of termination candidates from clinic secretary

Josh Breiner
June 2, 2020

Prosecutors will request a suspended sentence for a woman who was convicted of using the confidential information of women who sought to terminate a pregnancy.

Liza Dermer, a 48-year-old anti-abortion activist from Petah Tikva, was convicted last week of breaching confidentiality. She reached a plea bargain with prosecutors under which the original indictment of multiple counts of breaching confidentiality was reduced to a single count and prosecutors will not request that she be given a custodial sentence. The maximum punishment for the offense is five years in prison.


How an Israeli Anti-abortion Group Got Its Hands on Confidential Information to Influence Women

How an Israeli Anti-abortion Group Got Its Hands on Confidential Information to Influence Women
When a staff member at an abortion clinic contacted religious organization Hidabroot with a guilty conscience, it realized it had hit the jackpot

Josh Breiner
May 26, 2020

The phone call received by M., a 33-year-old woman living in southern Israel, left her in shock. On the other end of the line was a woman who said she was a representative of the religious organization Hidabroot. Although M. had never said a word to anyone about her plans for an abortion, the caller knew. And she was contacting M. to try to talk her out of it.

“I asked her where she had gotten my details from and she replied, ‘from good people who are worried about you,’” M. recalled later when the scope of the organization’s activities became apparent.


The Abortion Conundrum: How Far Israelis Go to Make Sure Their Babies Are Born Perfect

The Abortion Conundrum: How Far Israelis Go to Make Sure Their Babies Are Born Perfect
What do parents do if they discover the baby could be born deaf? Or sterile? Or suffer from a disease? Israelis choose to terminate such pregnancies much more frequently than in other Western countries

By Shany Littman
Jun 13, 2019

It was Yael’s second pregnancy. She had received a sperm donation and gave birth to her first child, a daughter, four years earlier, and went through the same procedure this time, too. All the tests were good but now, because she was 44, the single mother also underwent amniocentesis and paid 2,000 shekels ($550) for a CMA (“DNA chip”) test. The result indicated a problem in the fetus’ genetic sequence.

“The doctor talked about possible intellectual disability and autism, about delayed development and attention deficit problems,” recalls Yael, who lives in the center of the country. (Some of the names in this article have been changed to protect the interviewees’ privacy.) “He showed me a list of all kinds of disabilities, which had a 30-percent probability of happening. That sounded very high. I cried but we reached the conclusion that it would be out of the question for me to give birth to a baby with disabilities. I am a single parent with limited resources. There was no way I could cope with that.”