This Monday, Israel eased some of its regulations on abortion access as a response to the “sad” U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade.
Under the new rules, Israeli women will now have access to abortion pills at their local health clinics. They also will no longer need to physically appear before an abortion approval committee, and the application form will be shortened and simplified. Instead, the process will be digitized, and a requirement to meet with a social worker will become optional.
This change was met with fury from pro-life groups in Israel including the Efrat Organization which provides assistance and information to women seeking abortions.
Slamming the move was Efrat Chairman Chagai Goldschmidt who said, “When a woman chooses to have an abortion nowadays, she doesn’t do so out of an informed mind. We’ve treated 81,000 women who think otherwise. The Health Ministry should present women with various options. Secondly, women should be given 72 hours to think things over. After the [pregnancy termination] committee, there’s nothing. She’s immediately transferred to the next room.”
Emphasizing how the organization has saved countless lives, Dr. Yonatan Schussheim, the head of Efrat’s medical department, and son of late founder Dr. Eli Schussheim said his father saved at least 80,000 babies during his years at Efrat. According to an Arutz Sheva report at the time, he founded Efrat after an encounter with a woman that changed his life. A woman brought her 8-year-old son to his medical clinic for stitches and said: “You know, this child isn’t mine – he’s yours!”
“Each year, 60,000 abortions were being performed in Israel. That was the biggest loss of life in the country – more than wars and car accidents — yet the state wasn’t doing anything to stop it,” said Dr. Schussheim. “It was then that I committed myself to this as my life’s work.”
Amidst opposition from several pro-life groups, the new abortion rules are set to take effect in three months.