IMA opposes Shas MK's abortion amendment

MK Nissim Ze’ev proposes to amend section of Abortion Law on late abortions; IMA: Amendment will cause more early abortions.

March 12, 2012 05:42
2 minute read.
Rahamim Malol (L),Nissim Zeev (C) and Itzhak Saban

Rahamim Malol (L),Nissim Zeev (C) and Itzhak Saban (R), Shas. (photo credit: Reuters/Nir Elias)


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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 abortions.

MK Nissim Ze’ev (Shas) proposed the amendment on Sunday and demanded that the law prohibit all abortions during the last 18 weeks of gestation.

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 rejected.

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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