Congress Passes Foreign Aid: $3 Billion to Israel
JERUSALEM A famously child-friendly country with a federally subsidized universal health care system that offers free fertility treatments, Israel has made it easier for economically distressed women to obtain an abortion.
The 2014 “health basket” of medical services and medications approved by Israel’s cabinet Sunday (Jan. 5) includes free abortions for Israeli women aged 20 to 33, regardless of the circumstances.
The $4.6 million earmarked by the Health Ministry committee will cover some 6,300 abortions for women who cannot afford the procedure.
In 2013, almost 20,000 women received permission to abort from hospital termination committees, according to Efrat, an organization that encourages women considering abortion to have their babies.
Until now, government-funded abortions have been reserved for women younger than 19 or older than 40, and in cases where the fetus has a severe defect, the mother’s life is endangered, or the pregnancy is a result of sexual abuse. If a woman believed the pregnancy would cause her harm, physically or emotionally, she had had to pay for the procedure herself.
A 1977 law ensures a low-cost, and in some cases free, legal abortion to any woman who fills one of four criteria:
She is under 18 or over 40 (cost to those in between: 1,500 shekels [$370]).
She is carrying a fetus with a serious mental or physical defect (free).
She claims that the fetus results from forbidden relations such as rape or incest (free) or, in the case of a married woman, that the baby is not her husband’s (not free). Single women also fall under this clause, and they too must pay.
She shows that by continuing the pregnancy, her physical or mental health would be damaged (free).
In 1980, a fifth criterion that allowed abortions for women living in economic hardship was abolished due to pressure from religious political parties.
A woman who seeks to terminate a pregnancy must appear before one of the 41 abortion committees operating in public and private hospitals around the country. These committees include three members — a physician whose field of expertise is obstetrics and gynecology; another physician who is either a family doctor, psychiatrist, internist or gynecologist, and a social worker. At least one woman must be present on each committee.
Six separate committees consider requests for termination when a fetus is beyond 24 weeks old. No hospitals in Jerusalem, however, will perform these abortions.
In 2012, 21,104 applications for termination of pregnancy – out of 21,689 (97%)- were approved. 20,063 pregnancies were actually terminated, approximately 10% of all known pregnancies in Israel. In addition, it is likely that more than 10,000 abortions were illegally performed in private doctors’ clinics.
Ruth Tidhar, who heads Efrat’s assistance department, said that in a country like Israel, where mothers receive paid maternity leave and preschool education is heavily subsidized, “it gives a mixed message when contraceptives aren’t funded by the government while abortions are.”
Judaism does not share the Roman Catholic belief that life begins at conception, but various Jewish streams have a range of opinions on the issue. The one thing most Jews agree on: That abortion is always permissible if the mother’s life is in danger.
The abortion mill that conservatives just love. They can’t get enough of funding THIS abortion mill!
Now, after a few days, here’s my contribution to the ongoing Komen-foundation-shooting-themselves-in-both-feet-after-putting-both-feet-in-their-mouths-gate.
I’d like to take a moment to discuss the abortion mill that conservatives love with all their heart. That organization that they want to force every American to support that kills tens of thousands of the pre-born every year. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you…the state of Israel.
The US government gives approximately $3 billion a year to the state of Israel in military aid. Money, being a fungible thing (H/T to McSuderman) that means that the $3 billion they get from us is 3 billion of their own money that they aren’t spending on military hardware. Some of that 3 billion dollars allows the Israelis to build, support, and protect illegal settlements in the West Bank. Some of it goes to support other Israeli activities that are diametrically opposed to American national security goals in the region and the world. Some of that money makes room in the Israeli economy for spending on Israel’s socialized medical system. Conservatives just loves them some socialized medicine in other countries, don’t you know.
But the big issue here is the fact that in Israel, abortions are legal, and paid for under that same socialized medical system. Conservatives just love aborting Jew babies, it seems. That has to be it, because they claim to hate abortions and to hate socialized medicine, but they love giving American taxpayers’ money to Israel to free up Israeli money to abort Israeli Jews. In 2003, the latest year for which Wikipedia has Israeli abortion statistics:
Clauses 312-321 of the 1977 penal code limit the circumstances when an abortion is legal in Israel. Abortions can only be performed in Israel by licensed gynecologists in recognized medical facilities that are specifically and publicly recognized as a provider of abortions. Abortions must be approved by the termination committee.
In practice, most requests for abortion are granted, and leniency is shown especially under the clause for emotional or psychological damage to the pregnant woman. According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics report from 2004, 19,500 legal abortions were performed in Israel in 2003, while 200 requests for abortion were denied. Most abortions were authorized because the woman was unmarried (42%), because of illegal circumstances, such as rape, incest, etc. (11%), health risks to the woman (about 20%), age of the woman (11%) and fetal birth defects (about 17%).
Also, too, consider this an open thread.
EDIT–Clarification–Abortion is not strictly legal, but is subject to approval by a 3 person committee. It is not correct to say that “abortion is legal in Isreael”, per se. That committee however, approves almost all of the abortions that are requested, which are then paid for by the healthcare system. There is a proposed law in the Knesset right now that would make abortion completely legal in Israel because women who can afford to go to private clinics do so and avoid the committee altogether, according to the same Wiki article. The intent of the proposed law is to make abortion rights functionally equal for all Israeli women.
Rabbi David Stav, the head of Tzohar, a modern-Orthodox rabbinical organization, criticized the new abortion guidelines.
In a TV interview on Arutz Sheva, Stav said it is “immoral” for the state to fund abortions that result from a mother’s “personal decisions” rather than serious medical problems.
“The state (will be) allocating resources for personal decisions,” said Stav that are “forbidden by Jewish law.”
Israel uses US foreign aid for free abortions
Congress Passes Foreign Aid: $3 Billion to Israel is Included
November 14, 1997
WASHINGTON (Nov. 13)
Both houses of the U.S. Congress have approved a $13 billion foreign aid bill that includes more than $3 billion for Israel and $2.1 billion for Egypt.
President Clinton was expected to sign the long-awaited measure, which passed only after lawmakers agreed to strip controversial anti-abortion clauses.
The annual spending bill passed Thursday includes a symbolic ban on direct U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority. It is symbolic because the United States delivers virtually all of its $100 million in annual U.S. aid to the Palestinians through non-governmental organizations.
The measure also allows President Clinton to reopen the Palestinian Authority’s office in Washington. The office has operated unofficially for two months because Congress allowed a law to expire that waives decades-old restrictions on the Palestinians.
Under an agreement with the White House, Israel will return $50 million of its aid, which the United States will then send to Jordan.
Egypt will also contribute $50 million for Jordan, bringing the total aid package for the Hashemite kingdom to $225 million.
Former Soviet states are slated to receive $770 million.
In an 11th-hour compromise that had held up the bill, House Republicans agreed to drop an amendment that bars U.S. aid to international family planning groups that use private money for overseas abortions or lobby to liberalize foreign abortion laws.
The bill contains $385 million for such programs.
In exchange, Congress removed more than $900 million slated to pay off the U.S. debt to the United Nations, a move that was certain to anger U.S. allies who have been pressing America to pay off its debt.
The Senate approved the bill by a voice vote. The House approved the bill by a vote of 333-76.
MARCH 22ND, 2010 BY JOEL L. WATTS
IS THE U.S. SUPPORTING (FREE) ISRAELI ABORTIONS?
Everyone is worried about the Mexico City Policy, with good measure, but what about Israel? Israel has abortion. Israel also uses a lot of U.S. money to operate on. We are going to provide billions of money, on the record, to Israel.
As part of the aid, this year Israel will receive $2.5 billion, in 2010 – $2.775 billion, and in 2011 the sum will reach $3 billion. In total, the security aid Jerusalem is slated to receive from Washington stands at some $30 billion until 2019.
With every dollar in foreign aid given to nations like Israel, they are able to use it for their socialized and compulsory health care. It might be said that we are also supporting their health care system.
So, are we not then supporting the Israeli abortion system?
In July 2002, Bush cut off all funding, approximately $34 million, for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). This funding had been allocated by Congress the previous December. Bush claimed that the UNFPA supported forced abortions and sterilizations in China. His justification came from a group of members of Congress who oppose abortion and an anti-abortion organization called the Population Research Institute, which claimed to have obtained first-hand video taped evidence from victims of forced abortion and forced sterilization in counties where the UNFPA operates in China. This accusation has never been supported by any investigation, and has in fact been disproved by the US State Department, UK, and UN teams sent to examine UNFPA activities in China. The UNFPA points out that it “does not provide support for abortion services”. Its charter includes a strong statement condemning coercion.”
The Bush administration continued to withhold funding through 2007, and fought Congressional efforts to require an explanation of its decision to block the funds. Women’s rights groups criticized the decision and pointed out that the PRI refused to release information that would allow the team to locate the women, and thus no independent verification of PRI’s claims was possible.