Health Minister Nitzan Horowtiz continues to push forward a series of reforms that would expand access to abortion while removing barriers women face when requesting the procedure.
Under current Israeli law, women do not automatically have the right to abortion.
In seeking one, a woman should seek permission from a legally mandated pregnancy committee made up of three representatives from the hospital or clinic that would perform the operation.
“The questions are very intrusive. Questions like “Why are you not using contraceptives or contraception?” »Declared the executive director of the NGO Open Door Silvina Freund.
Women in Israel describe the process as humiliating, and attempts to reform the system have been stalled for years, until now.
Horowitz recently proposed a set of reforms that would give the legislation a makeover.
“The idea of the committees was to get women to do fewer abortions… This was canceled by [Horowitz]», Declared Dina Shalev, director of the NGO Lada’at Choose Well.
Although most requests are rarely turned down – less than one percent, according to Shalev – committees are encouraged or even tasked with persuading women not to terminate their pregnancies.
“There is also a proposal to cancel the committees. This is something that Horowitz does not put forward himself, but some [parliament members] are, ”Shalev noted.
“There’s still a long way to go, but it’s the end of the game.”
Until then, however, a specific reform would see the replacement of the committee with a more consultative approach.
“It will give women the freedom of choice,” said Freund.