by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – Israel’s High Court is set to rule this week on a petition brought by pro-lifers to stop abortions after 24 weeks gestation, CBN News reports. Israel allows state-funded abortion up to birth with the approval of a designated termination committee.
The case being considered by the high court this week was brought by a private citizen together with Be’ad Chaim (“pro-life” in Hebrew), an Israeli Messianic Jewish crisis pregnancy center based in Jerusalem.
In a statement to CBN about the case, Sandy Shoshani, Director of Be’ad Chaim said: “We recognize the 24-week-old fetus (baby) as a person who can survive out of the womb – [a] viable human being. In Israel, they will save a baby only from 24 weeks and not before.”
Under a 1977 penal code, one of 41 termination committees can approve an abortion, in the following circumstances:
- The woman is younger than the legal marriage age in Israel (which currently is 18, raised from 17 in April 2013), or older than forty. (Later amended to also include women under the age of twenty.)
- The pregnancy was conceived under illegal circumstances (rape, statutory rape, etc.), in an incestuous relationship, or outside of marriage.
- The fetus may have a physical or mental birth defect.
- Continued pregnancy may put the woman’s life in risk, or damage her physically or mentally. (Source: wikipedia).
In practice, however, abortion in Israel is essentially on demand. “[The termination committees] give consent to 99.2% of requests,” Shoshani told CBN.
While most abortions take place prior to the 24th week, one of six special termination committees can authorize abortion up to birth.
Irrespective of the forthcoming high court decision, Shoshani called for prayer that “the courts recognize the personhood of the baby in the womb, at least from the point of viability [at] 24 weeks,” CBN said.
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