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.”


How Abortion Became a ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Issue in Israeli Politics

Haaretz - Israel News
Tuesday, January 03, 2017.

Speculative move by two religious lawmakers to change the 40-year status quo regarding abortion has sparked furious backlash.

Allison Kaplan Sommer, Jan 02, 2017

Abortion may be one of the most politically charged issues in the world related to religion – but you’d never know it in Israel. While Israelis are eager to furiously debate nearly anything else involving religion and politics – from kosher standards in the army to buses on Shabbat, to women’s prayer at the Western Wall – there is near-silence on the issue of when life begins in the womb.

The status quo that is clung to so tightly has allowed invasive but relatively permissive abortion laws to remain in place nearly undisturbed for 40 years.

This week, though, in a rare occurrence, a proposal was floated that would invite religious input into abortion decisions – and the reaction was explosive.

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Source: Haaretz