חוקים והפלות
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Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz

Israel's health minister to introduce abortion reforms to make process easier

Fresh reforms will allow women to get an abortion through their healthcare provider without requiring hospitalization and revise invasive paperwork; 'It's about time to advance to the 21st century,' Horowitz says

Adir Yanko |
Published: 06.02.22, 12:02
Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz is expected to introduce in the coming days a set of reforms with the aim of making abortions more widely available, Ynet learned on Thursday.
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  • The new reforms will allow women to get an abortion at their local healthcare provider in lieu of in a hospital, revise invasive paperwork and cancel a requirement to see a social worker in person ahead of the procedure.
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    ניצן הורוביץ בתדרוך עיתונאים בנושא חיסון נגד פוליו
    ניצן הורוביץ בתדרוך עיתונאים בנושא חיסון נגד פוליו
    Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz
    (Photo: Moti Kimchi)
    However, pregnancy termination committees, which have the final say on whether to approve the procedure, are not expected to be abolished as such a move would require a change in legislation which is likely to encounter opposition from conservative elements within the government.
    Access to abortions through healthcare providers will allow women who request to terminate their pregnancy up until the ninth week to do so without being hospitalized. This reform extends to IDF clinics as well.
    More so, women will now be able to submit the paperwork prior to the treatment digitally. The forms themselves will undergo major changes and drop invasive questions, such as "why did you not use contraceptives?", or questions regarding the number of children the woman has.
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    חוקים והפלות
    חוקים והפלות
    (Photo: Shutterstock)
    "The choice to have an abortion must be in the hands of the woman. This is my simple stance and the principle that guides me," Horowitz said.
    "No one has touched this issue for more than 40 years. These regulations are conservative and outdated. It's about time to advance to the 21st century. We're revamping regulations, getting rid of the sexist and degrading questioning women go through, and we'll allow a simpler, more accessible and more respectful pregnancy termination process."
    Meretz MK Michal Rozin, who took an active part in devising the reforms, praised the move.
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    מיכל רוזין
    מיכל רוזין
    Meretz MK Michal Rozin
    (Photo: Yoav Dudkevitch)
    "Pregnancy termination committees in their current format shame women and their rights over their bodies," she said.
    "The reforms that I initiated together with Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz will significantly change the experience of women who seek an abortion, and the accessibility to the service. Women feel humiliated by the invasive and judgmental questions, and rightly so. It is about time we revise this process, and allow every woman to exercise her right with dignity."
    According to Health Ministry data, 17,548 women applied for pregnancy termination in 2021, with 74% of procedures carried out before the ninth week of pregnancy.
    The move comes as the United States was whipped up into a frenzy following a leak of a draft of a U.S. Supreme Court opinion that would overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling, pushing the abortion debate back to the fore.
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