(JNS.org) Israeli health officials announced Monday that starting in 2014, the Jewish state will begin funding abortions for women aged 20-33 regardless of circumstance.
Abortions will be part of Israel’s “health basket,” a list of medicines and technology to be given to patients at a government-subsidized price. Subsidized abortions were previously available for Israeli women of all ages only in the case of medical emergencies, rape, or sexual abuse. Women can now receive the abortion funding for any reason, but must appear before a state committee first.
The expanded abortion subsidies create new options for more than 6,300 women in Israel, Haaretz reported. Funding for contraception, meanwhile, did not fit into the Israeli health basket’s budget.
“The private expense for birth control pills is low, but when we’re talking about financing for the entire population, that’s a hefty sum,” said Prof. Jonathan Halevy, head of the health-basket committee.