World

Guess What’s Falling In Israel, And It’s Not Bombs

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Grace Carr Reporter

Abortion rates in Israel are falling as contraception use reportedly increases and sexual activity decreases.

Israel’s abortion rate dropped an astounding 34 percent between 1990 and 2016. Tangentially, women are having more children in Israel, as 103,000 were born in 1990 compared to 136,000 in 2000 and 188,000 in 2016, according to Haaretz.

“Compared to the past, there are many ways to get satisfaction that compete with the desire to have sex,” Sheba Medical Center sex therapy director Gila Bronner said to Haaretz, pointing to porn and other online activities as sources of competition for sexual activity.

Abortion rates are also falling in other Middle Eastern nations as long-lasting serious relationships become more common, according to senior gynecologist at Petah Tikva’s Beilinson Hospital, Dr. Aryeh Yeshaya. He also noted that men watching pornography as a substitute for sexual relationships has affected the rate at which women are becoming pregnant. Many Arab and religious communities do not accept abortion, Yeshaya added, citing their convictions as a noteworthy factor in the decreasing abortion rate.

“Unlike in other countries or the situation a few decades ago, contraceptives in Israel today are cheap and available,” said Professor Yariv Yogev, director of Lis Maternity and Women’s Hospital at Tel Aviv’s Sourasky Medical Center, Haaretz reported. She noted that Israel’s abortion rate is half that of most European countries, largely a result of contraception accessibility, a culture of responsibility and an openness surrounding the discussion of both abortion and pregnancy.

Women seeking to abort in Israel must receive permission from a regulatory committee, but the conditions are easy to meet. The committee approved 98 percent of women’s requests to abort in 2016. Roughly 60 percent of women who aborted in 2016 ended their pregnancies before reaching 7 weeks gestation.

The number of drug-induced abortions in Israel has tripled since 2000, largely because technology has improved and women are having abortions at much earlier stages in pregnancy.

The U.S. abortion rate fell 25 percent between 2008 and 2012, according to the American Journal of Public Health in its October report. There were 19.4 abortions per 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 44 in 2008, and that number fell to 14.6 per 1,000 in 2012. The abortion rate fell 14 percent between 2011 and 2014. (RELATED: US Abortion Rate Plummeted By 25 Percent Over The Last Few Years, Study Says)

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