Abortion Rates in Israel Declining

February 10, 2014

2 min read

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The Israeli Health Ministry recently released a report that spread some good news when it comes to a very controversial topic. The rate of abortions among Israeli women, which has been in decline for the past quarter century, has continued to decrease through data received up to the end of 2012.

Israel, which has fairly liberal laws when it comes to abortion, allows a woman to have a subsidized abortion in cases of rape or abuse. Outside of rape or abuse, a woman must apply for permission to terminate her pregnancy. Approval is received from a 3 persona governmental panel, which has an approval rate of 98 percent. This past January, the Israeli Health Ministry announced a sweeping change regarding abortion in Israel. Israeli women aged 20-33 will now be able to receive abortions funded by the state for non-medical readings.

According to the recently released report, 21,689 abortion requests were filed with the Health Ministry in 2012. Majority (97 percent) received approval and in total, 20,063 pregnancies were terminated. Roughly 1,000 abortions were not approved and therefore not carried out.


The new figures indicate a decrease in abortion in Israel and possibly attitudes towards abortion in general amongst the Israeli population. In 2012, out of every 1,000 live births there are 117 terminated pregnancies. In the early 1990s, for every 1,000 live births, there were approximately 150 terminated pregnancies.

Overall, abortion in Israel has dropped 21 percent since 1990, 13 percent since 2000, and 8 percent since 2006.

The report indicates that the most cited reason for requesting an abortion in Israel is due to the woman being unmarried or that the pregnancy was an outcome of illicit sexual relations or incest. In 2012, 54 percent of women cited these reasons for wanting to terminate their pregnancy. 19 percent of women requested abortions for health risks to the mother; 18 percent cited abnormalities in the fetus; and 9 percent cited the mother’s age as below 17 or above 40.

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