The Amazingly Progressive Israeli Abortion Policy

Israel’s Health Ministry announced a slate of amendments to its extremely progressive health care policy that involves a government-run, government-financed “health basket.” The health baskets offer free prescription drugs and medical care to all Israeli citizens.

As part of the 2014 revisions to the health basket services, Israel now grants free government-subsidized abortion services for women between the ages of 20 and 33. This in addition to women under 20 and over 40 who were already provided free abortion services.

Free, government-subsidized abortions. In Israel.

Victims of rape, incest or health of the mother have always been allowed to attain an abortion. For other reasons, including emotional stress or pregnancy out of wedlock, women have had to appeal to a three-member panel to request an abortion. But the Times of Israel reports that the panel greenlights requests 98 percent of the time, and with the newly amended health baskets, abortions for any reason will be fully subsidized.

Anti-choice activists and legislators in the U.S. like to use the hyperbolic words “genocide” and “holocaust” to describe legal abortions in the United States. I wonder if they’d ever be dumb enough to refer to Israel’s abortion policies using the same terms.

The contrast between Israeli law and what’s happening in the U.S. with the slow creep of the criminalization of abortion. Here we are in a nation where a sitting member of Congress, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), can deliver a response to the State of the Union and say with a straight face “health care choices should be yours, not the government’s,” while simultaneously supporting a platform that includes government-mandated ultrasounds.

  • feloniousgrammar

    The religious right has a perverse relationship with Israel. The Personhood Initiative used epidemiological information from Israel about women with ectopic pregnancies to argue that a woman with an ectopic preg­nan­cy should be forced to stay in a hos­pi­tal bed, then undergo auto­trans­fu­sion (be given trans­fu­sions of her own blood) after a rup­ture until the fetus is viable no mat­ter how astronomically unlikely or impossible that would be.They used a jum­ble of num­bers and sup­po­si­tions about those num­bers while not acknowl­edg­ing that Israel has uni­ver­sal health insur­ance, no com­punc­tion about end­ing a preg­nancy to pro­tect the mother, and one third the mater­nal death rate of the U.S.

    http://www.personhoodinitiative.com/fact-sheet-on-ectopic-pregnancy.html

  • Christopher Foxx

    Anti-choice activists and legislators in the U.S. like to use the hyperbolic words “genocide” and “holocaust” to describe legal abortions in the United States. I wonder if they’d ever be dumb enough to refer to Israel’s abortion policies using the same terms.

    Oh, god. Someone is so totally going to do that. You just know they will.

  • Christopher Foxx

    Israel now grants free government-subsidized abortion services for women between the ages of 20 and 33. This in addition to women under 20 and over 40 who were already provided free abortion services.

    Bravo to Israel, but I’m left to wonder what happens for those 33-40.

  • Gunnut2600

    Its the same reason Israel is pro gay rights…to offer a liberal alternative to most conservative Islamic groups, in the hopes to weaken liberal opposition in the US against Israel’s illegal settlements. if you think the conservative elements in Israeli society will ever allow this to effect their neighborhoods, you are crazy.

    • Sabyen91

      Pulling stuff out of your ass is fun!

      • Gunnut2600

        How is it pulling stuff out of my ass? Its an effective tool. Israel has for years championed gay rights to be seen an alternative to Islamic governments in the region. Have you ever heard of the term “pink washing”?

        Israel is a very complex country. You have extremely liberal and extremely conservative social groups. There are towns and villages where women can only use segregated buses. There has been extremely violence against African decedent citizens and refugees. To claim any policy from the government is universally applied is laughable.

        I am no more anti-Israel than I am am anti-Russia or Germany or any country, as they don’t immediately affect me and its their right to sovereignty to do what they want. Its a smart tactic on their part. Its extremely helpful for them to point out the clear fact that gays and women are treated like shit in other Middle Eastern countries.

        Seriously…you have never heard of the term “pink washing”?

      • Christopher Foxx

        So is ignoring the point actually being made, apparently.