NRL News

Number of abortions and abortion rate decrease in Israel in 2019 as they have since 1988

by | Jan 5, 2021

By Dave Andrusko

A story in today’s Jerusalem Post written by Tara Kavaler, is headlined “Israel’s Abortion Rate Continues 32-Year Decline.” 

The story is reposted from The Medialine and is much more a lament that there are any limitations on abortion–and that abortions are not completely publicly funded–than it is a celebration that both the number of abortions and the abortion rate have trended downward going back to1988.

Here are the opening three paragraphs:

Referrals in Israel to pregnancy termination committees, from which approval is required before undergoing the procedure, have been trending downward since 1988, as has the number of abortions performed, according to new data from Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS).

In 2019, the most recent year for which data is available, 17,688 females in Israel turned to the committees. Some 99.4% were approved for an abortion, while only 106 applications were rejected.

That same year, there were 8.4 requests to the termination committees per 1,000 females between the ages of 15 and 49, a rate that has continuously declined since 1988, when there were 18.6 requests per 1,000 females.

Who is having abortions, according to the report?

Druze and Muslims have the lowest rate of abortion referrals in Israel, according to the CBS, with 5.6 referrals and 6.2 referrals per 1,000 females, respectively. This is followed by Christian Arabs, with 8.4 committee requests per 1,000 females, and Jews, with 8.9 committee requests per 1,000 females.

At 10 per 1,000 females, the unaffiliated or nonreligious, and non-Arab Christians, had the most referrals.

Most of the rest of the story is a criticism that married women cannot obtain abortions as readily as unmarried women at the same time Sharon Orshalimy, a “ sexual health counselor,”  says,  “The reasoning of the law is very conservative, but the practice of abortion is very liberal and there is a big gap between the two.”

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