Soldier refused sick leave for abortion - Israel News, Ynetnews
 
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Soldier refused sick leave for abortion

Soldier forced to go back to base despite delicate medical condition; IDF says treatment 'followed protocol'

Yoav Zitun
Published: 02.20.13, 19:39 / Israel News

The IDF lauds the successful first year of its recently launched Mahut ("essence") crisis center, meant to offer assistance and counseling for military personnel who suffered abuse of any kind, but Ynet learned Wednesday of a case in which a female solider had to endure the pain of terminating a pregnancy sans any support from the army's medical staff.

 

The soldier, serving with an operational unit in the GOC Northern Command, found out she was pregnant some six weeks ago, and decided to exercise her right to terminate the pregnancy. She approached the Mahut, where she was given referrals to ultrasound, blood tests, gynecological exam and an appointment with a social worker. But the support system the soldier so badly needed following the procedure was less than useful.

 

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The soldier was scheduled to start a scaled termination process, via the "abortion pill" a few days later. The procedure must be done under full medical supervision, but according to her relatives, "On Sunday, when she took the first pill at the hospital, the side effects began – nausea, vomiting, hemorrhaging, and painful cramps. She was nevertheless refused any sick leave.

 

"When she called Mahut and asked for help, they told her she should have gotten the days off and promised to take care of it. But they never called her back, and nothing more was done for her."

 

The soldier's battle with sick days was a strenuous one, and the red tape, as well as what has been described by the family as "the IDF's deaf ear" resulted in her being forced to report back to base despite her condition.

 

"She said that she was doubled over (in pain)," a family member told Ynet. "She didn’t want to tell her officers what was wrong. Only later was she evacuated to a hospital in the north, where she was immediately given seven sick days."

 

The soldier, who was described by her peers as having and exemplary service record, said that "I'm relatively older… there were 18-year-old soldiers with me who were fragile. I was worried about them. I was dehumanized and jerked around over endless red tape. They (Mahut) promise I wasn't going to be alone, but in reality it's completely the opposite, in moments that are emotionally straining as it is."

 

 

IDF sources added that "The soldier was given counseling and guidance by a nurse… as well as days of rest according to procedures. Evaluation of the medical treatment… will be completed once the proper documents are obtained."

 

 

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