July 28, 2014
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JANUARY  8, 2014 ARCHIVED STORIES:

JERUSALEM (BP) -- Israel now has one of the world's most liberal abortion laws after expanding state-funded abortion to women between ages 20 and 33 for any reason, drawing expressions of sorrow from pro-life, pro-Israel conservatives in the United States.

"Israel has been wracked by bloodshed for centuries. It seems almost unimaginable that the state would now fund violence in the womb."
-- C. Ben Mitchell
Previously, the Israeli government would help pay for women of all ages to have abortions in medical emergencies or in cases of sexual abuse, and women under the age of 20 and over the age of 40 could receive abortion funding for personal reasons.

"Of all people, the people of Israel should hold life in high esteem because of their biblical heritage."
-- Jim Sibley
The new legislation, approved by the Israeli cabinet Jan. 5, means abortion funding now will be available for more than 6,000 additional women.

"We want large families in Israel. We definitely encourage birth," Jonathan Halevy, head of the committee that drafted the legislation, said, according to The Times of Israel. "But when pregnancy occurs and it is undesired or inadvertent, I think we should supply the means to end the pregnancy properly."

The nation of Israel, formed in 1948 after the Nazi atrocities against the dignity of life in the Holocaust, is unique as a democracy in the Middle East and is the world's only Jewish-majority state with strong biblical ties.

Sandy Shoshani of Be'ad Chaim, a pro-life organization in Israel, told Baptist Press that, as in other times in Israel's history, God may be allowing the nation's depravity to be evident.

"I believe that God has in a sense given us over, and He's not done with us, but He's bringing us to a place where He's saying, 'Look at yourself. Take a good look and come to Me,'" Shoshani said, referring to Romans 1.

She mentioned that "our moral system has gone so low," with Israel recently granting to homosexual couples some benefits that previously had been reserved for biblical marriage.

Barrett Duke, the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Commission's vice president for public policy and research, called it a sad day for women and children in Israel.

"Abortion kills a human being created in God's image, does irreparable harm to women and coarsens a culture's attitude toward life in general," Duke told Baptist Press. Read More

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