After recently receiving a Health Ministry license, a hospital in Tel Aviv, Israel has completed at least 10 legal outpatient abortions using mifepristone, the non-surgical early abortion method, also known as RU-486. The pill’s licensing process was described as “trouble free,” despite some feminists’ concerns that the Shas-controlled Health Ministry might have opposed the pill’s license.
Health Minister Shlomo Benizri, who once tried unsuccessfully to disseminate an antiabortion booklet, said that he and rabbinical authorities believe that “taking the pill during the early stages of pregnancy was preferable to an invasive abortion because it significantly reduces danger to the mother’s health.”
Israeli parliament member Yael Dayan said that he predicts the legalization of mifepristone “will also reduce the number of illegal abortions,” because the pill can be more private than a surgical abortion.
Mifepristone, which was first used in clinics 10 years ago, is currently used in France, England, Sweden and China.