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What Evangelical Christians need to know about abortion in Israel

Pro-life groups are encouraged by the overturning of Roe v. Wade but say there is a long road ahead to see a change in Israeli society when it comes to abortion

Sandy Shoshani, director of Be'ad Chaim, shows a calendar the organization creates with pictures of babies saved through their work (Photo: Screenshot)

Nearly 100 times more Israelis have died through abortion since 1977 than in all of the wars and terror attacks combined since the nation’s founding in 1948.

This is a statistic that Evangelical supporters of Israel should know, said Ariel Hyde of Tree of Life Ministries.

“There have been 2 million abortions since the birth of the modern State of Israel so it is something that is hugely affecting the whole nation,” Hyde noted.

“When there’s a war, Christians around the world are praying for Israel, and we are grateful. But this is a war that is happening here every day. Every day, about 110 Israeli children are killed – 40,000 throughout the year.”

While pro-life groups in Israel welcomed the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe vs. Wade, different challenges facing Israel regarding abortion. An estimated 2 million abortions have been performed in Israel since it became legal in 1977, compared to about 24,000 soldiers killed in action and victims of terrorism since 1948.

Many Christian supporters of Israel around the world have little critique for the Jewish state. But the same morality issues that Evangelicals lobby both for and against in their own countries are not met with the same resolve as in Israel.

Abortion is one of those issues.

Few Israelis – aside from the Messianic Jewish community and some religious Jews and Christians who live here – speak out against abortion. And many see no reason at all to oppose it.

But the directors of pro-life organizations that spoke with ALL ISRAEL NEWS said they are hoping this U.S. ruling will at least spark a dialogue and perhaps change minds and hearts as well.

“It is amazing to hear that God has answered the work and prayers of so many people crying out and working hard to help the U.S. to choose life.” Hyde said. “It is also inspiring for us to see what happened when the Body of Messiah rises up like in the U.S. for years, that God can turn such a huge issue around.”

Despite the shrill arguments that accuse pro-lifers of being from “the Middle Ages,” Hyde said that “the more science progresses, the more clearly we see that what is in the womb is already alive, that this is a baby.”

“The pro-life movement is not unscientific or socially backward. It’s very much making positive progress to end the shedding of the blood of innocent children.”

“Our hope is that Israelis will really start thinking about it more as a society. The issue has been almost entirely one-sided until now, so we pray that this decision will help propel the issue forward so we can have a real public discussion about it.”

Sandy Shoshani, director of Be'ad Chaim, concurs.

“First of all, I’m thrilled. I’m just thinking about Psalm 139 – that people have been created by God in their mother’s womb and that, finally, unborn children are recognized as human beings.”

Shoshani said these unborn children are human beings who deserve their human rights. But she also defends women’s right – something the abortion procedure in Israel does not do.

Women don’t need to be rushed to an abortion – they need time and information in order to process their feelings. This and informed consent are part of her rights.

“When her husband says, ‘I’m going to leave you if you have this baby,’ that is not giving her respect. If her boyfriend says, ‘I’m not going to marry you if you have this baby,’ he is not respecting her.”

Lilach Counseling Center, run by Be'ad Chaim (Photo courtesy)

Shoshani has seen the other side of the abortion industry in Israel, one that involves payoffs for approving and performing abortions – some of which can be approved and performed the same day without informed consent or discussion of possible physical and emotional side effects.

Another incentive is that doctors and nurses get paid extra for each abortion.

“It's all about the money,” Shoshani said – not the woman.

TREE OF LIFE – RAISING AWARENESS

“We saw there was such a huge need for advocacy here,” Hyde said regarding Tree of Life’s recent emphasis on a pro-life message in their outreach videos.

Their first video, which shows what an abortion really is and how a baby in the womb already has a heartbeat at 21 days, has reached 7 million views in Hebrew alone. They also launched a hotline for women in distress. At least 130 women called after viewing the video and decided to keep their babies.

Tree of Life works together with Be'ad Chaim, which provides practical help to mothers who choose life.

“We are focused on helping to change the hearts of Israelis, so ultimately the laws will change as well,” he said.

With a lack of interest in the cause of abortion, Hyde explained that Israeli pro-life is starting at a lower plain.

“One of the things I’m really praying for is for American pro-life advocates – now that this major victory has been won on a national level – that they would fight this on the state level and the international level as well,” he said.

“Many view it as just an American issue and its really unfortunate because there have been 55 million abortions around the world per year,” Hyde noted. “So we would really love to see the prayer and the effort in winning this battle be unleashed toward Israel and toward the nations.”

BE'AD CHAIM – FOCUSING ON THE FOLLOW THROUGH

Be'ad Chaim is active in lobbying the government and counseling women who have questions. And, Shoshani said, they know that is not enough. The organization realized long ago that in order to persuade women to choose life it needs to combine actions to this belief.

Since 2006, through Operation Moses, Be'ad Chaim provides for the basic needs of the baby for a full year for every woman that turns to them for support in carrying their pregnancy to term. They are currently helping 750.

Some people ask Shoshani how she “dares” to take an opinion so opposite of public opinion.

“Why don’t you ask the 4,000 women whose baby we helped save? For me, those 4,000 women are those whose opinion we value.”

“One woman I counseled who aborted at home told me she saved the tissue of the baby and kept the remains under her pillow for a month. She cried herself to sleep every night,” Shoshani said.

Nicole Jansezian is the news editor for both ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS and senior correspondent for ALL ISRAEL NEWS

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