Monday, October 24, 2005

Abortion in Israel

A discussion on another post of mine made me think about the difference between the centrality of abortion in American politics and its total marginality in Israeli politics. It's interesting that here in Israel there isn't much of a debate about abortion. It's legal (though you have to go through a medical board, but if you say the right things you'll usually be allowed to get the abortion). Nobody seems to be fighting to illegalize abortions or to liberalize them by getting rid of the medical panel. Sometimes there are reports about religious women giving pregnant women pictures of fetuses at abortion clinics. But that's about it. Most people are content with the present situation.

You'd think that the fact that all of Israel's coalitions (except for one or two very brief periods) included religious parties would have made abortion a hot-button issue like in the States. But I guess that when you're worried about being blown to bits you concentrate on protecting the living rather than worrying about the unborn. Maybe the issue seems less divisive because of the fact that it's regulated by a law legislated by the elected Knesset rather than by a ruling of the unelected Supreme Court justices? Dunno.

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