In 2014, the government of Israel will pay to abort babies for any woman aged 20 to 33 regardless of the circumstances surrounding the pregnancy if, as expected, a health commission’s recommendations are instituted.
Government health officials expect to pick up the tab for 6,300 or so abortions over the course of the year, reports Haaretz. The total cost of all the procedures will be approximately $4.5 million. The estimated cost per abortion will be just over $700 (about 2,500 Israeli shekels).
Israel received roughly $3.1 billion in aid from the United States in 2013.
Officials from a Health Ministry commission recommended the policy on Monday, according to The Times of Israel. The policy has not yet been passed into law.
The health officials added that they hope to obtain universal funding to pay for even more abortions for women of all ages in future years.
Israel is already a place where abortions are pretty easy to get. Abortion is illegal without approval from a government-endorsed panel. However, notes the Times, the panels approve 98 percent of all abortion applications.
Each three-person government panel is made up of two doctors and one licensed social worker. At least one member of each panel must be female.
For women who are younger than 17 or older than 40, approval is essentially automatic. It’s also almost assured in cases of rape, incest or adultery; in cases when the mother’s physical or mental health is in danger; and in cases when a genetic or congenital birth defect has been diagnosed.
Under the current law, the government only funds abortions for girls younger than 18 and abortions for medical reasons. Also, the Israeli military gives out a free abortion to any female soldier who wants one.
The fathers of the babies have no say in the abortion under Israeli law. Also, minors don’t need parental consent.
Fewer than 10 percent of the country’s abortions occur after the 22nd week of pregnancies.
The new law is expected to have a big effect, and will likely lead to an increase in the number of aborted babies.