A year ago I received a flier in the mail attached to a dvd with a picture of four smiling teenage girls on the cover. I flipped through the flier and found a series of ultrasound photographs of a fetus at different stages of pregnancy. The captions were in first person, and said things like: “Here I am five weeks old, my **insertbodypart* is developing and I can already *insertcutebabyaction*.” taking the fetus and giving it a voice to make it seem like a living thing. I realized this was an anti-abortion campaign and decided to save the flier so I could blog about how horrendous it was.
* My non-Israeli readers may be interested to know that abortion in Israeli s legal, safe, and covered by health insurance.
The organization which handed out these fliers has been nominated for a city prize by several local newspapers. Their reasoning: for saving hundreds of Jewish babies from the threat of abortion. This is infuriating, outrageous, and just so completely wrong that I’m running out of adjectives. Let me explain the injustice I see in the granting this prize to the Efrat Organization.
Efrat discourages abortion for any reason in any situation. That includes underage girls, cases of rape and incest, and financial background. They provide money for girls who do not abort pregnancy even if they initially wanted to – not enough to ensure financial security, but enough to bribe the mother. They view *any* type of abortion as an act of murder, and when involved in a case they take extreme measures to ensure the baby is carried to term. They consider themselves ‘pro-choice’ while ruling out the possibility that any girl would ever choose to abort. My view on this ideology is that it is vioent. What’s the difference between what this organization does and the legal definition of rape? Some subtleties which should be updated in the law anyway. This is clear violation of a woman’s body, stripping her of her power to choose and control her own life.
To award violence against women is to encourage it, to assure it stays alive in our society. This is a step backward for all individuals and organizations fighting violence against women in Israel and Jerusalem.
The only way to fight violence is to disempower it. and that is why it is crucial not to let this organization gain more influence. We must stand up to this kind of injustice.