Rahamim Malol (L),Nissim Zeev (C) and Itzhak Saban (R), Shas.
(photo credit: Reuters/Nir Elias)
The Israel Medical Association expressed opposition Sunday to the passage of a
Knesset proposal to amend the section of the Abortion Law that deals with late
MK Nissim Ze’ev (Shas) proposed the amendment on Sunday and
demanded that the law prohibit all abortions during the last 18 weeks of
The IMA said that the present law should be left in place
because “the amendment will cause more abortions in early stages of pregnancy of
fetuses, some of which are healthy.”
Prof. Moshe Ben-Ami, chairman of the
Israel Gynecology and Obstetrics Society, sent a letter to the Ministerial
Committee for Legislation calling on members not to okay the bill after learning
of the Shas MK’s intentions.
Ben-Ami said that it is wrong to claim that
the current law allows hospital abortion committees to approve almost every
request for abortion without restrictions.
The process, he said, begins
with ultrasound scans of fetuses. If a serious physical defect is detected and
the parents want an abortion, a request can be filed, but if the defect is light
or moderate, Ben-Ami said, the mother is encouraged to wait and have another
scan later. If the next scan shows a more serious condition, the medical
specialists recommend an abortion.
The senior ob/gyn said that if the law
is changed, couples who fear a follow-up scan before deciding will ask for an
early abortion, as they think they will reach the stage when an abortion would
be forbidden altogether.
He also wrote to the ministerial committee that
Ze’ev’s explanations accompanying the bill infer that doctors who aim to prevent
the family from suffering in the future will be regarded as “murderers” if they
carry out “late abortions.” Ben- Ami stressed that abortion does not cause pain
or torture to a fetus and that its organs are not “ground up and pumped out”
after the 24th week of gestation.
MK Rachel Adatto (Kadima), who is a
gynecologist by profession, also attacked Ze’ev’s proposal and said it must be
She called the proposed amendment “unnecessary, baseless and
detrimental not only to women but also to physicians. This is a superfluous
bill, as even today, abortions are carried out during the late stages of
pregnancy according to criteria set down by law and according to the decisions
of a supreme committee.”
Adatto denied the Shas MK’s claim that aborting
a defective fetus at this stage was murder. “This should be rejected,
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