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Israel Has Eased Its Abortion Laws So Women No Longer Have To Ask A Special Committee For Approval

Israel has loosened its abortion laws to allow people to get abortion pills through the country’s universal health system and not have to appear in front of a special committee to get approval to terminate a pregnancy.

Abortion is widely available in Israel and far less controversial than in the US, but people do not automatically have access to one, AP reported.

Under the new rules, which will take effect over the next three months, women will be able to undergo abortions at local health clinics, instead of only at hospitals or surgical clinics.

israel abortion laws ease

It also means they will no longer need to physically appear before a committee, made up of a social worker and two doctors, to apply for an abortion.

Although government data shows that 90 percent of those who apply for an abortion receive one, women are still subject to bureaucracy and a “humiliating and intrusive process,” according to AP.

Health minister Nitzan Horowitz said the questionnaire that people have to submit before appearing in front of the committee included “degrading” and “chauvinist” questions like “why did you not use contraception methods?”, the Washington Post reported.

“Questions that are not the concern of anyone, certainly not of the state,” Horowitz said. “It is clear that they were written according to a chauvinistic view that a woman’s judgment cannot be relied upon.”

Instead, the application form will be shortened and simplified, with the committee reviewing applications digitally and only conducting hearings in the rare case it initially denies a procedure, according to the Post.

The decision, which was approved by the majority in the parliament on Monday June 27, was in response to the US Supreme Court’s decision’s to overturn Roe v. Wade earlier last week, Horowitz said.

“The move by the US Supreme Court to deny a woman the right to her body is a dark move,” he said in a statement. “We are somewhere else, and we are making great strides in the right direction today.”

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