Jun 27, 2022 - Health

Israel eases abortion rules after Roe v. Wade ruling

An anti-abortion activist protest outside the U.S. Supreme Court.
An anti-abortion activist protests outside the U.S. Supreme Court. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Israel eased the country's regulations on abortion access Monday in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade, the Associated Press reports.

The big picture: The Supreme Court ruling Friday elicited a global response with some leaders and countries looking into their own laws and requirements to see if changes need to be made.

Details: The Knesset Labor and Welfare Committee in Israel authorized a proposal to amend Israel's criminal code over medical abortion procedures, Haaretz reports.

  • The new rules offer women access to abortion pills through Israel's universal health system.
  • It also removes a longtime requirement that women appear physically before a committee before they are approved for pregnancy termination, per AP.
  • The application process for the review committee will be digitized too, the Times of Israel reports. This means women will no longer need to drop the application off in person.
  • Some "degrading questions" about contraceptive use will be removed from the application too, per a statement from the Health Ministry.

What they're saying: "When I saw the procedures required for the abortion committee, it seemed like something from another time," Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz told Haaretz. "These outdated regulations were written under a chauvinistic view that a woman's opinion is not valid."

  • "Women should be the sole decision-makers on whether to terminate a pregnancy," he said. "Today's reform will grant more freedom for women. It's time to enter the 21st century."

World leaders and international human rights groups condemned the Supreme Court's decision late last week, Axios' Laurin-Whitney Gottbrath and Ivana Saric report.

  • "I think it's a big step backward," British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Friday. "I've always believed in a woman's right to choose and I stick to that view and that is why the UK has the laws that it does."

What we're watching: In the wake of the SCOTUS ruling, French lawmakers will soon propose a bill to add abortion rights into the country's constitution, per The Guardian.

  • “What happened elsewhere must not happen in France,” said Marie-Pierre Rixain, a member of parliament.
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