Starting in 2014, Israel will give out free abortions to any woman between the ages of 20-33 who wants one, adding on to the free abortions the country provides for all minors and Israeli military soldiers. Even more shockingly, government officials said they hope to have money in their budget to fund even more abortions in the future.
The new abortion rules will allow women to terminate their pregnancy regardless of the circumstances surrounding it. Government officials expect to pick up the tab for 6,300 abortions in 2014, at a cost of approximately $4.5 million. Although the policy has not yet been passed into law, officials from a Health Ministry commission approved the plan this week and it will likely go into effect within a matter of weeks.
However, abortions have already been extremely easy to obtain in Israel. Although a government-endorsed panel must approve any abortion that takes place, they are green lighted in 98% of all applications. Women between ages 17-40 are basically approved automatically, while cases of rape, incest and adultery are typically approved as candidates for abortions.
Cases when the mother’s physical or mental health is in danger, as well when a genetic or congenital birth defect has been diagnosed, are also almost always assured candidates for abortions. Under Israeli law, the fathers of the babies have no say in the process and minors don’t need parental consent or knowledge of their plans to terminate a pregnancy.