Abortion: debating a taboo

Publié le : 9 January 2013

 The two Chief Rabbis of Israel, Shlomo Amar and Yona Metzger, recently expressed themselves in a letter, reported in the media, inviting Israel’s "rabbis to support Efrat, an organisation that fights against abortion." Speaking on the military radio station, Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger stated: "we must support the organisations that provide financial assistance to women who do not wish to have an abortion because it involves a murder that deserves no pity." According to the letter of the two Grand Rabbis, the action undertaken by the Efrat organisation "saved 4,000 human lives in one year." Through their letter, they wish to "make the wider public more aware of the extremely serious nature of the decision to kill a foetus." Currently in Israel, abortion is legal "for women under 17, the legal age for marriage, for women over 40 and in the case of rape or incest." Moreover, it can be "authorised by a medical committee in the case of the malformation of the foetus or if the continuation of the pregnancy endangers the life of the woman either physically or mentally.

In France, the recent controversy surrounding the third-generation contraceptive pill has led several specialists to take a stand on the termination of pregnancy. The gynaecologist Bernard Hedon, president of the French National College of Gynaecologists and Obstetricians (Cngof), says the decision of the government to stop reimbursing this type of pill can be criticised because it creates "the risk of reviving the same ‘pill panic’ recorded in 1995 in Great Britain and also in France which led to a rise in the number of terminations of pregnancy." And Prof. Israël Nisand, a gynaecologist-obstetrician, points out that making abortion free in France "is not a reason for thinking that it is not harmful to women."

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