At reading this latest story at a number of Israeli news sites this evening, I couldn’t help but wonder how America’s Christian Zionists will react to this news. As political activists most, if not all, are extreme right-wingers who’s platform consists of being anti-gay, anti-abortion, and pro-Israel. Maybe they’ll not react (publicly) at all…what do you think?
Source: The Times of Israel
Israeli women aged 20-33 will be able to receive state-funded abortions for non-medical reasons if the recommendations of a Health Ministry commission, published Monday, are passed into law.
The committee, chaired by Prof. Yonatan Halevi, examined 650 medicines and technologies worth more than NIS 2 billion over 3 months, in order to determine what would be added to the expanded list of state-subsidized treatments. The body was bound by a NIS 300 million ($86 million) limit on the health care expansion. In the end, 83 new medicines and treatments were added to the list, which were estimated to cover cover 115,000 patients.
According to the recommendations, women seeking an abortion will still need to receive the approval of a government panel. The committee wanted to fund the procedure for all women, according to Ynet, but budgetary constraints forced them to limit it by age.
The estimated cost per patient was estimated at NIS 2,484 ($714), which covers not only the process, but also the cost of appearing before the government panel. Without government approval, abortion is illegal, but the panel approves 98% of the cases brought before it.
The panel is made up of two physicians and one licensed social worker, and at least one of the three must be a woman.
With 6,300 women in the covered age range expected to terminate their pregnancies in 2014, the cost to the state is anticipated at NIS 15.6 million ($4.5 million).
Currently, only abortions for medical reasons and for girls under the age of 18 are paid for by the state.
Halevy said that one of his considerations was that women were avoiding abortions in hospitals because of financial difficulty, or because of a desire to hide the pregnancy.
Private abortions cost NIS 5,000-6,000 ($1,500 to $1,750.)
Other committee members voiced concern that the expanded coverage would lead to more abortions.
Unlike in the United States, abortion has never figured in the country’s political campaigns. In fact, Israel does not even have an active anti-abortion movement.
The Israeli penal code states that termination of pregnancy is a crime that carries a prison sentence of up to five years. But the code also broadly addresses numerous circumstances in which an abortion may be legally performed, including benefit to emotional and financial well-being.
Approval is practically automatic if the pregnant woman is younger than 17 or older than 40; if the conception was a result of rape, incest or extramarital relations; if the pregnancy is likely to endanger the mother’s physical or mental well-being; or if the fetus has been diagnosed with a possible birth defect.
Women also do not need the consent of any male, including the father of the child, nor do minors need the consent of parents or guardians. Israeli medical coverage offers an array of free testing for genetic and congenital birth defects.
(more at above link)