Monday, December 12, 2011 | Ryan Jones
Israel Today has written several times before about how Israel has an abortion problem. Since the founding of the State of Israel in 1948, more than one-and-a-half million babies have been aborted – more than the number of Jewish children killed in the Holocaust. Going by current birth rates, had those children been allowed a chance at life, there could be 5-10 million more Israelis today.But the good news is that abortion rates have been steadily dropping in Israel over the past decade. And figures released by Israel’s Ministry of Health on Monday confirmed that the trend is continuing.
According to the ministry report, in 2010 Israel performed 11.1 abortions per 1,000 women of fertile age. That marks about a 10 percent decline from 2000. In Israel today, less than 11 percent of pregnancies end in abortion. In 2000, 12.5 percent ended in abortion, and in 1990 nearly 15 percent ended in abortion.
Israel requires women to gain approval from a medical committee in order to have an authorized abortion, but the criteria are lax and the committee rubber-stamps 98 percent of all abortion requests, resulting in nearly 20,000 authorized abortions per year. It is estimated that another 20,000 unauthorized abortions are performed every year by private clinics.
So, the fact that the numbers are dropping is not due to new legal restrictions. Indeed, it is easier to get an abortion in Israel today than it has ever been.
Some in the Israeli media speculated that the drop may be due to the aging of Russian immigrants, who in their fertile years used abortion as a form of birth control. What was not considered is the work of a handful of pro-life organizations that are tirelessly laboring to educate Israeli women regarding both the dangers and adverse psychological effects of abortion, and to aid women in “crisis pregnancies” that may feel they have no choice but to abort.
One of those organizations is the Messianic-run Be’ad Chaim (Hebrew for “Pro Life”). With centers around the country, Be’ad Chaim is able to provide assistance and teaching to hundreds of women who may otherwise have aborted their children every year.
While the work of Be’ad Chaim and other such organizations may only be scratching the surface of Israel’s abortion problem, it is making a difference. The latest Ministry of Health report revealed that women with a higher education or from better socioeconomic conditions are already far less likely to have an abortion today. Most abortions today are performed on mothers with low socioeconomic status, or, in other words, crisis pregnancies, the very ones being targeted by Be’ad Chaim and others.
Israel Today recently partnered with Be’ad Chaim to help promote its important work. You can purchase the beautifully-illustrated Be’ad Chaim “Calendar of Life” through our Jerusalem Depot online store – click here to buy