August 12, 2004

Abortion in Israel

I came across this article via afterabortion.

Data from the Health Ministry shows that each year in the country, approximately 3,400 pregnancies are terminated due to a physical defect of the fetus (this figure amounts to about a fifth of all legal abortions performed annually). In 1997, 2,800 abortions were performed due to a physical defect of the fetus. In 2002, that number was up to 3,396 - an increase of about 20 percent within five years.
As Emily said, read the whole article, it is mindblowing.

The article was based on research by Yael Hashiloni-Dolev.

And for this woman, for this Jew, very upsetting. That isn't the way it is suppose to be. A child is not their defect and their life, while not the life of a "normal child" need not be sad or lacking in all the things that make life wonderful.

At the end of the article Ms.Hashiloni-Dolev is quoted as saying:

"I'm not propounding a certain moral position. I don't know what's right and what's wrong. But what bothers me is how all this genetic testing is done in Israel without any ethical questioning. There's this total faith in science on the one hand and a lack of acceptance of disabilities, of handicaps, on the other, and the view that people with them are a burden on society and ought to be killed before they are born."

I agree that there needs to be more discusion; however I can and do hold a moral position; abortion should be avoided if at all possible, and all other recourses should be looked into. (for an excellent article on Jewish law and abortion see here)My personal function, imho, would be to try and be there for the people who need me; to help women continue their pregnancies and to enjoy their children. I hope to do so in the near future. I don't know what else to do. But this article made me ill.

Posted by Rachel Ann at August 12, 2004 05:42 PM

As you know, in Judaism, abortion is *not* murder.

People with disabilities are (and should be) accepted. That is not the issue. The issue is, do you want there to be *more* people with disabilities? Don't they, themselves, suffer?

The ethical issue is this: do you create a person who will have a lifetime of suffering? or do you perform a perfectly legal act, that poses some health risks to the mother?

Posted by: Ami at August 12, 2004 06:41 PM

A small penis? That's the reason? It's a BABY!!!! of course the penis is small! DUH!

Posted by: Robin P at August 12, 2004 09:20 PM

Hi Robin,

Most likely the penis of the child, cited in the article, is abnormally small for the fetus. That said 1)it doesn't indicate its functunal state in the future. (Size doesn't matter) 2)there are other measures that can be taken when the child is grown.
and 3)

Ami, this is for you also:

You stated

The ethical issue is this: do you create a person who will have a lifetime of suffering? or do you perform a perfectly legal act, that poses some health risks to the mother?

There is an assumption there that I think is wrong;
that the child WILL suffer. No one knows that is absolutely true, save in some cases where a child is "born to die" such as with Tay Sachs.

Abortion, according to Judaism, is not murder in the sense that it would lead, were the Temple standing and Torah laws applied, to the death penalty. It isn't condoned save for the health/life of the mother. And the issue must be fairly serious
and is totally dependent on the needs of the mother.

The cases referred to in the article are about making a preumption that the child will not feel loved, will not have happiness, because s/he is not perfect. Yet very few of us are, and even those who seem to have it all aren't guarenteed a future of contentment. There are have it alls who are morose, bitter and angry, There are have it almost nothings who are joyful. There are medical miracles, and there are tragedies that alter the physical, psychological and intellectual health of those born
better off.

To abort, based on an assumption that a child will feel X,Y, Z, is wrong to me.

Posted by: Rachel Ann at August 13, 2004 05:49 AM
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