by Steven Ertelt
November 14, 2006
Jerusalem, Israel (LifeNews.com) — New reports indicate that there are about 40,000 abortions that take place every year in Israel. According to official records, the government approves and pays for about half of the abortions, which are carried out in public hospitals.
The rest of the abortions are done by private doctors and private facilities.
Meretz MK Zehava Galon is promoting a new bill in the nation’s legislature that would force the government to pay for all abortions with taxpayer funds.
Estimates indicate that the cost of the proposal would set back the Middle East nation more than $3 million US dollars.
Steven Mosher, the president of the Population Research Institute, says abortions have caused population problems for Israel.
"With birthrates well below replacement, Israel’s economy has survived over the past decade and a half largely because of the steady influx of Jews from Russia and the other former Soviet republics," Mosher said.
That combined with short-term migrant labor from countries like Romania, the Philippines, and Thailand has staved off potential workplace shortages and helped support retired residents.
However, Israel, a small nation in the most volatile region of the world, may not be able to continue to pull in those immigrants and workers and may see future underpopulation issues if those sources of workers dry up.
"Had migrant workers not been available, that is to say, if population control programs had succeeded in flatlining birth rates everywhere, development in many countries would have stalled because of labor shortages," Mosher explained.