I have just published an article in the peer-reviewed academic journal Israel Studies in which I examine the historical and contemporary struggles that have led to the gap between the restrictions on, and availability of, abortion in Israel.
My article, entitled "Wars of the Wombs: Struggles Over Abortion Policies in Israel," attributes this gap to the compromise necessitated by conflicts amongst competing policymakers, motivated by opposing viewpoints and interests, over the objectives and substance of abortion policies.
Opposition to abortion stems primarily from demographic anxiety relating to both the Holocaust and the Muslim Arab-Jewish fertility differential in Israel/Palestine. Support for access to abortion emanates from countervailing concerns about the implications of unrestrained fertility for women’s health, family welfare, and social stability, as well as “qualitative” interests in reproducing healthy children. Some feminists have also resisted attempts to render women’s wombs national vessels.
This article explores the evolution of these struggles over four distinct historical periods, and assesses their impact on women’s reproductive experiences and rights.
To read the article in full, please go to Israel Studies Volume 20 Number 2 (Summer 2015), pp. 1-26.
You can also download and read a full PDF of the article via my personal Academia.edu page here.