(דברים בכנס על עתיד ההפלות – מכללת נתניה).
Prof. Jacob Hart – President of Natanya Academic College and Dean of the School of Health Systems Management;
Prof. Hadara Bar-Mor, Head of MA degree program, School of Law
Dr. Yehezkel Margalit and Yonatan Kanir ,Dear students and guests,
I am happy to speak to you at this important conference on the future of abortions.
First of all, let me be clear. The right to have an abortion is healthcare.
Family planning and reproductive rights are critical to women's health.
The autonomy, I would even say, soverenity, of a woman to make choices over her body and life is a basic human right.
You can really see the status of women in a certain country through the lens of abortion and reproductive rights. Laws limiting her choice are a way to control and oppress women.
It is impossible to talk about this issue without addressing the decision of the US Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade in June.
This unfortunate decision sends us 100 years back in time.
I believe that the core purpose of this decision is to oppress women.
The implications of banning abortions are broad, but above all, it is a matter of extensive damage to women's health.
Banning abortions will have a clear and definite result: the loss of many women's lives, particularly women from a low socioeconomic status – poor women.
Some say that a woman who wishes to end a pregnancy will find a way to do so. The question is at what cost and at what risk.
Thankfully, Israel is at a very different position than the United States on this matter. Here abortion are still regulated, it is still not a woman's fully independent choice, but our procedures and access are already much much better, and recently, I improved them.
We took an outdated set of laws and updated them to the 21st century.
Women won't be questioned anymore with personal, humiliating, interrogating questions on their sexual practices.
They won't be forced to meet with a social worker, but one will be available to them if they choose.
And medicinal and early-stage abortions will be available in the community, in our Kupot Cholim – HMO – clinics, not just in hospitals.
To me, the health system should be the flagship of equality. We must create a system that reduces disparities and provides health for all the people.
A system that promotes health and quality of life regardless of sex, gender, race or economic status.
We must protect Israel's position on this issue, and make sure that the US Supreme Court Decision will be a stand-alone setback, and not the beginning of a global trend to retract women's rights.
Thank you all for your attention to this important subject, and I wish you all an interesting and fruitful discussion. And of course – Shana Tova. Happy new year