The majority of abortions in Israel were approved because the woman was unmarried, said a report by Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday.
A report by Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics shows that in 2019 some 17,688 women filed requests with the Termination of Pregnancy Committee, who approved 99.4% of all requests to undergo abortion.
According to Israeli law, abortions are approved only if the woman is under the age of 18 or over 40 years old; pregnancy is the result of an illicit relationships; the child may have a physical or mental disability, the continuation of the pregnancy may endanger the woman's life or cause her physical or mental harm, or if the woman is unmarried.
The latter appears to be the most common reason for requesting the termination of pregnancy, which constitutes about 51.5% of all approvals, according to the CBS report.
The second most common reason is that the pregnancy poses a risk to the woman's health, as in 19.9% of all cases, while 19.6% of requests were approved because the child may have a physical or mental disability.
The report showed that in 2019, 8.4 termination of pregnancy requests were filed per 1,000 women, all between the ages of 15 and 49. The figure represents a slight decrease compared to 2018, when 8.6 requests per 1,000 women had been filed.
Abortion requests were at their highest in Israel back in 1988, when 18.6 requests were filed per 1,000 women.
According to the most recent report, 7.9% of all requests (1,398) had been filed by women below the age of 19, 48.1% by married women, 41.8% by single women, 9.9% by divorced women and 0.3% by widows.
The vast majority of abortions, 86.5%, were conducted in the first trimester of the pregnancy, 11.9% in the second trimester and 1.6% in the last trimester.
The report also shows the rate of requests among Muslim women stands at 6.2 per 1,000 women, among Druze women at 5.6 and among Arab-Christians at 8.4%. The highest rate appears to be among non-religious women or non-Arab Christian women.
When compared to other developed countries, the rate of appeals for abortions puts Israel at an intermediate level.
For example, higher rates exist in Sweden (19.2), England & Wales (18.0) and the United States (11.3). Lower rates were recorded in Finland (7.7), Germany (5.8), Switzerland (5.5) and Poland (0.1) where abortion laws are among the strictest in Europe.