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Abortions U.S Compares to Israel Law

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The discussion about abortions has always been controversial all around the world. The debate moves on the spectrum between the conservative and religious radicals, which against abortions and are pro-life to the other end, who believes in the women's autonomy, and her constitutional right to privacy (=pro choice). The proponents of Pro life see the fetus as a living person and the fact that he is developing inside the woman's body does not give her ownership on his life. Therefore, they say we cannot see the fetus as part of the women's right over her body and only god can decide in matters of life or death for the fetus. On the other hand, those in favor of abortions claim that the woman's right over her body also applies to the pregnancy that develops within her. The fetus is not yet a living person since he does not have existential independence. It is important to note that this approach relates up until the point the fetus have conscience and his body parts fully developed. At this point, the fetus should be recon as viable, the point of viability is crucial when we need to determine whether the fetus has his own rights while balancing it with the woman's rights. Another argument states the socio-economic status of the mother and her ability to continue the pregnancy and care for the baby after birth. In this argument, we can also prospect the care of the best interest of the future child .

In this essay, I will present the legal framework of abortions in Israel and will try to compare it to the U.S law (though it varies from one state to another). I will discuss the pros and cons in each system and will try to state my opinion about it.

The story of the Israeli law regarding abortions starts from the mandatory law, which prohibited abortions almost completely. Private bill on 1975 suggested changing the legal status and replacing it with broader range of approved reasons to terminate pregnancy. The suggested legal framework leaned on national and demographic interests of the Zionist Israeli collective that strive to encourage births among Jewish woman after the holocaust and in need to "close" the numeric gap between Arabic and Israeli population. The result was a legal framework that reflect national and religious aspects and ignored bluntly of woman or fetus rights. The only ground that permitted abortion by law was a real danger to the women's health. By doing so, woman found a way to pass the law and to go through these procedures illegally.

Without access to birth control and with lack of knowledge regarding them, abortions were the main tool to regulate birth. Over the next years, semi-formal committees that conducted in the public hospitals started giving approvals to terminate pregnancy to woman in need from lower socio-economic class. The committees included gynecologists, psychologists and social workers and added three more grounds: fetal malformation, rape and incest or socio economic reasons. The public debate around the world in the seventies marked a dramatic change regarding abortions also in Israel and shifted the discussion from a social one to discussion of rights. As for 2017, through secondary legislation, the committees became the only legal option for abortions in Israel. A woman can ask the committee for an abortion anytime but she must get its approval. While the clause based on socio economic class omitted, five grounds took place instead: the women is under the age of 17 or older than 40, non consensual sex (rape) or incest, a child outside of marriage, heavy health problems for the fetus and physically or mentally health issues of the mother.

While it seems the Israeli law does not make it difficult to get the committee's permission and the decision depends on the women's wishes (without regarding the father or the fetus's rights), this legal framework does not work.

First, as the committee approves abortions among young unmarried women, it is harder for married women to get an approval without strong grounds to do so. The Jewish religion and the Jewish collective perception as mentioned before makes it hard on married women to get an abortion and it is only allows if the fetus created outside of marriage. The religion have a strict standard regarding status and by meaning so, it is better to not be born at all than to be born as a basterd . Jewish mothers perceived as mothers of the nation and if they are pregnant within marriage and do not want the baby due to economic, family or social issues, they cannot do anything about it. So in order to fulfill their rights over their bodies and to "pass" the committee, married woman lie to the committee. They claim for physical or mental issues and in most of the cases, they claim for adultery. This claim is "their only way out" legally and by doing so they pay a great price as they perceived adulterers. Under this legal framework, there is a violation of the law of human dignity, breach of autonomy and when claiming for adultery they risk in getting a divorce without any right to alimony.

Second, a lot of woman do not want to go through the process of the committee since they feel this is intrusion to their privacy. Third, the expenses on the procedure are high, legally



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