Requests for abortions in Israel at record high, report says

Central Bureau of Statistics data show 99.5% of requests to terminate pregnancy approved in 2021; 50.1% of applications made by married women, 6.8% by women under 19

Nina Fox|
Requests for abortions in Israel have reached a record high in 2021, says a new Central Bureau of Statistics report published Tuesday.
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  • According to the report, the Health Ministry's pregnancy termination committee had received 16,591 requests to terminate pregnancies, meaning 7.7 out of every 1,000 Israeli women between the ages 15-49 had sought an abortion throughout the year, same as in 2020.
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    הפסקת היריון
    הפסקת היריון
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    Abortion requests in Israel have been on the rise since the late 1980s and jumped sharply in 2020, perhaps due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and consequent lockdowns.
    The percentage of requests approved also increased from some 90% in the 1980s to more than 99% in recent years. In 2021, the approval rate stood at almost 99.5%. According to the Health Ministry, 95.4% of women whose applications were approved have gone through with the process.
    Some 6.8% of the applications were made by females under the age of 19; 50.1% by married women; 39.6% by single women; 9.9% by divorced women and 0.3% by widows.
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    צילום אולטרסאונד
    צילום אולטרסאונד
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    As in previous years, the vast majority (85.5%) of the requests were made in the first trimester of pregnancy (up to 12 weeks), 12.8% during the second trimester (weeks 13-23), and 1.7% in the last trimester (week 24 and onward). Thirty percent of all requests to terminate a pregnancy in 2021 were made by women who have previously had an abortion.
    Among Jewish women, 8.1 in 1,000 women had sought to terminate a pregnancy compared to 6.0 per 1,000 among Arab women.
    Abortions in Israel are approved in accordance with the following criteria: The woman is under the minimum marriage age (18) or is 40 or older; the pregnancy is the result of a relationship prohibited by law, incest or extramarital relations; the child may suffer from physical or mental disabilities; the pregnancy may endanger the life of the woman or cause physical or mental harm.
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