Countries Abortion Profile

Israel

1. Law related to Abortion

Brief history of the law:

Since 1977 abortion is allowed by the Israeli Penalty-law with the woman’s approval, and after the approval of a “Pregnancy stopping committee” (3 members), which could be approached in all major Hospitals. Abortion will be allowed in the following conditions:

  • The woman is below marriage age (nowadays 17) or over 40 years of age
  • The Pregnancy is a result of an illegal contact (Rape or Incest) or outside of the marriage
  • The embryo may be born with a physical or mental illness
  • The pregnancy may harm the woman

A 5th condition existed until 1978, by which a woman could perform an abortion because of Socio-Economic reasons. This condition was cancelled by the Knesset (Israeli Parliament), although the “Pregnancy stopping committee is free to decide in problematic cases like these.

The law also states that an abortion not in the conditions above is to be punished by 5 years of imprisonment. This law is valid both for Surgical (1977) and Medical (1999) abortions.

The Health-insurance (“Kupat-Cholim”) covers the costs of the abortion under the age of 19, and in cases 3, 4 of the law as written above. It also covers the costs in case the pregnancy was a result of rape or insect.

2. Policy

The Government Supports childbirth, Families receive money for each child. The amount of money per child is bigger per each new child.
Single parents also receive financial help from the government.

3. Second Trimester Abortion

4. Practice

All abortions are made in state hospitals.

5. Reproductive Health Perspective

As mentioned above.

6. Abortion Statistics

Induced abortion rate among women aged 15-44 years
Total abortion rate per woman: unknown
General abortion rate per 1,000 women: 11.3
Abortion ratio per 100 live births: 13.3
Age specific abortion rate (per 1,000 women) age 15-19: 9.9

Total number of abortions (indicate source; period)
1st TM : 17500
2nd TM: 1771
Safe: all safe
Unsafe: unknown
married women: unknown
unmarried women: unknown
adolescents: 2700
Septic abortions: unknown

7. Public sector

Abortion services available:

1st Trimester    - yes
2nd Trimester   - yes
Cost                   - 2000-4000 NIS (370-740 Euro)

8. Private Sector

Abortion services available:

1st Trimester   - yes
2nd Trimester  - yes
Cost                  - varies
The private sector can operate only with legal approval and functions the same- only the rates change.

9. Methods used

2nd Trimester with Ethacridine lactate , Misoprostol, D&E, Hysterotomy.

10. Provider level allowed for surgical and medical abortion

Ob/Gyn only.

11. Abortion related morbidity mortality statistics

Unknown (rare).

12. Manufacture and/or availability through import of abortion equipment (MVA syringes, EVA equipment)

13. Manufacture / import of Mifepristone, Misoprostol

MIFEGYNE
Man: Exlegyne laboratories, France
Imp: Lapidot Pharmaceuticals, LTD, Israel
Provider price: 1700 NIS = 313 Euro

14. Facility and provider certification norms in brief

15. Information available in national service delivery standards

16. Informal / illegal providers - if present who are they

All information is available.

17. Population urban/ rural: Demography of the country, with an analysis of availability of abortion services ratio to population

Urban Pop: 90%, Rural Pop: 10%.
Rural communities exist all over Israel, and contain: Jewish, Arab, Bedouin, Druze and Adyghe (Cherkes) Population.
The Rural population isn’t far from Hospitals (less then 1 hour by car); hence, abortions are available to them as to the Urban population.

18. Role of government

Government is enabling by law which also provides adequate funding to run training and service delivery programs.

19. Role of religion / religious leaders

Most Israeli Population is secular. However, Most rural population and a large part of the Urban population are religious. In the Religious sector (Orthodox Jews, Muslims) abortions are forbidden in most cases.

20. Local Ob Gyn societes

Supportive mostly.

21. Current status and potential of research

Strict confidentiality law makes it difficult to research.

22. Awareness amongst community members

Awareness on MVA/EVA, medical abortion (among women):
According to our researches awareness to MVA/EVA is highest among immigrants of European origin, and lowest among immigrants of Ethiopian Origin.
Awareness to medical-abortion is rather low in all groups of the population.

Awareness on MVA/EVA, medical abortion (among medical providers):
Awareness on all issues in medical staff is very high, due to local reaserches and conferences, and high level of qualification.

23. Role of member organization/ individual

The Israeli Family Planning association is active in the field of advocacy in the Knesset, and provides information on contraceptives, prevention of unwanted pregnancy and prevention of abortions to the public through the Media (Internet, TV, Newspapers and Radio).

The association is not an organization “for abortions” nor “against abortions”.

“Open door” service is a network of consulting centers spread throughout Israel, to which anyone may approach on the issues of “family-planning”, in cases of pregnancy, a woman will be directed to gynecologist, and if necessary to a “Pregnancy stopping Committee”, also the centers provide consulting services on sexual education issues, like contraceptives.
A formal direction from such center to the committee lowers the price of the abortion.

After the abortion, women are welcome to return to our centers to receive psychological help and support, and consultation, in order to prevent another unwanted pregnancy.

The Association studies the approach to abortions in different groups in the population. And the phenomenon of illegal and unconventional abortions (on which there is no official data)

The association is in close contact with many social organizations in order to direct women in socio-economic needs, to prevent unnecessary abortions.

Dr. Michael Sandler takes part in all of the above as head of the “Open door” center in Netanya.