Feminist Israeli Politician Slams ‘Dark,Misogynist’ US Govt. For Appointing Anti-Abortion Judges


JERUSALEM (VINnews) — Israel’s Labor Party leader, Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli, spoke out sharply on Friday against the US Supreme Court’s abolishing of Roe vs Wade. Michaeli, an outspoken feminist who seeks to reform the grammatical genders in Hebrew to include females in all formats of expression, said the abortion ruling was a result “of a dark, misogynist regime appointing judges,” in reference to former US president Donald Trump, and warned that a similar loss of rights could happen in Israel.

“Did you believe that such a thing could happen? And more importantly — did you women believe that such a thing could happen? That one of the world’s great democracies is taking us back to the dark days when a woman had no rights over her body,” Michaeli wrote in a post on social media after the US Supreme Court on Friday removed women’s constitutional protections for abortion.

The court’s overturning of the landmark Roe v. Wade court ruling is likely to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states.

“Well, it’s happening. And it happens when women did not understand the meaning of Trump being in power. This is what it means. This is the result of a dark and misogynistic government appointing judges,” wrote Michaeli.

“It may seem to you that we have already achieved equality, and that women’s rights and human rights can never be taken away,” Michaeli went on. “Well, go there and see.

“And it’s not just the composition of the court. It’s who writes the rules, who distributes the resources. The judges overturned the ruling because the US Constitution does not mention a right to abortion. Guess what, the Constitution was written only by men, at a time when women still did not have the right to vote, be elected and write rules and constitutions.”

With Israel heading to elections, Michaeli urged Israeli women to support her and her party.

“Today and here, too, women are still a minority among those who write and pass laws. We are still a minority in the government as well, and I am the only woman currently heading a party. We must not leave it like that. We must not remain in this inferior position,” she wrote. “We must not allow darkness, religious fanaticism and racism to take the place of our democratic values.”

Currently Israel authorizes abortion and even subsidizes the procedure. Some 98 percent of those who apply for an abortion ultimately receive one, according to Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, although they face a number of hurdles before it is approved.

Abortion is not an automatic right in Israel. Israel’s abortion law, passed in 1977, includes criteria for allowing the procedure: If the woman is under 18 or over 40; if the fetus is not viable or would have severe medical problems if brought to term; if the pregnancy is the result of rape, incest or an “illicit union” (including not being married or having a relationship outside of marriage); and if the woman’s mental or physical health is at risk.

As part of the law, a pregnant woman must receive approval from a termination of pregnancy committee comprised of two physicians and a social worker (one of whom must be a woman) that determines if she meets the legal criteria for an abortion. The committee appointment itself can take two weeks or more to schedule, and the meeting has been described as humiliating, intrusive and paternalistic by critics and activists.

Consequently, some women choose to undergo the procedure through private doctors, paying the costs—about $1,000—out of pocket and without committee approval, which is illegal, although the authorities do not monitor or discipline private abortion providers.

“As the only woman to lead a political party in Israel, I know I will continue to fight my battles because I am not prepared for my country to change its face in the same way the US changed its face today,” Michaeli said. It is in our hands. It is time to join us to expel the darkness and create light,” she concluded.

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