Abortion Laws in Israel
|Law, Regulations||Criminal Law Amendment (Interruption of Pregnancy) Law, 1977; Penal Law (Interruption of Pregnancy) Regulations, 1977.|
|Indications||Life, physical or mental health, rape, incest, fetal impairment, woman is under marriage age or has completed her fortieth year, pregnancy the result of extramarital relationships.|
|Time limit||Not specified.|
|Location of Services||Recognized medical institution; detailed requirements are set forth.|
ISRAEL. Criminal Law Amendment (Interruption of Pregnancy) Law, 1977, of 31 January 1977.
1. In this Law–
“recognized medical institution” means an institution or clinic recognized by the Minister of Health as a medical institution for the purposes of this Law and notice of whose recognition as aforesaid has been published in Reshumot;
“gynaecologist” means a qualified medical practitioner holding the title of specialist in obstetrics and gynaecology conferred on him under the Medical Practitioners Ordinance (New
Version), 5737-1976 (hereinafter referred to as “the Ordinance”) or a qualified medical practitioner undergoing specialized training at a recognized medical institution, for the purpose of obtaining that title, under the supervision of a medical practitioner holding the said title.
Prohibition of interruption of pregnancy.
2. A person who knowingly interrupts a woman’s pregnancy, either by medical treatment or in any other manner, shall be liable to imprisonment for a term of five years or a fine of fifty thousand pounds.
Approved interruption of pregnancy.
3. A gynaecologist shall not bear criminal responsibility for interrupting a woman’s pregnancy if (1) it is performed at a recognized medical institution and
(2) approval under section 5 has been given in advance.
4. Approval for the purpose of section 3 shall be by a committee of three. Its members shall, in the case of a recognized medical institution which is a hospital registered under section 25 of the Public Health Ordinance, 1940, be designated by the manager of the institution, and in the case of another recognized medical institution, by the Minister of Health or a person empowered by him in that behalf.
The committee shall consist of:
(1) a qualified medical practitioner holding the title of specialist in obstetrics and gynaecology under the Ordinance;
(2) another qualified medical practitioner practising obstetrics and gynaecology, internal medicine, psychiatry, family medicine or public health;
(3) a person registered as a social worker under the Welfare Services Law, 5718-1958.
5. (a) The committee may, after obtaining the woman’s informed consent, approve the interruption of pregnancy if it considers it justified on one of the following grounds:
(1) the woman is under marriage age or has completed her fortieth year;
(2) the pregnancy is due to relations prohibited by the criminal law or incestuous relations, or extramarital relations;
(3) the child is likely to have a physical or mental defect;
(4) continuance of the pregnancy is likely to endanger the woman’s life or cause her physical or mental harm;
(b) For the purposes of this section, a woman’s informed consent means her written consent to the interruption of her pregnancy after the physical and mental risks involved in the interruption have been explainted to her; for this purpose, the consent of a minor does not require the approval of her representative.
(c) The committee shall not refuse its approval before the woman has been given an opportunity to appear before it and state her reasons to it.
(d) The approval shall be in writing and shall set out the ground justifying the interruption of the pregnancy.
Interruption of pregnancy in special cases.
6. A qualified medical practitioner shall not bear criminal responsibility for interrupting a woman’s pregnancy in any of the following cases, provided that reasoned notification is made to the Director-General of the Ministry of Health, in writing, within five days after the act:
(1) it is necessary to interrupt the pregnancy forthwith in order to save the woman’s life or to preserve her from grave irreparable harm;
(2) the pregnancy is interrupted in the course of other medical treatment performed on the woman’s body, the practitioner did not know of the pregnancy before and its interruption is necessary for that treatment.
Objection for reasons of conscience or medical considerations.
7. Where approval under this Law has been given, a gynaecologist shall not for this reason be required to interrupt the pregnancy if such is contrary to his conscience or medical judgment.
8. Section 18 of the Criminal Code Ordinance, 1936, shall not apply to an offence under this Law.
Restriction on criminal responsibility.
9. A woman upon whom an offence under this Law is committed shall not bear criminal responsibility in connection with that offence.
10. Sections 175 and 177 of the Criminal Code Ordinance, 1936, are hereby repealed.
Implementation and regulations.
11. The Minister of Health is charged with the implementation of this Law and may, in consultation with the Minister of Justice and the Public Services Committee of the Knesset, make regulations for its implementation, and, inter alia, regulations as to–
(1) conditions for the approval of a medical institution as a recognized institution, procedure for the grant of such approval and the period of validity, renewal and cancellation thereof;
(2) procedure for the grant of approval under section 5.
12. This Law shall come into force one year after its publication in Reshumot, but the Minister of Health may prescribe by notice in Reshumot that it shall come into force at an earlier date.
Penal Law (Interruption of Pregnancy) Regulations, 5738-1977.
Abortion: Recognized Medical Institutions and Procedure for Approval for the Termination of Pregnancy.
Chapter 1: Definitions
1. In these regulations:
–”the Ordinance” means the Public Health Ordinance, 1940;
–”hospital” means a registered hospital–including a Government hospital–registered under Section 25 of the Ordinance;
–”title of specialist” means a title of specialist approved under the Physicians (Certification of the Title of Specialist and Examinations) Regulations, 5733-1973;
–”social worker” means a person registered as a social worker under the Welfare Services Law, 5718-1958;
–”Committee” means the Committee under Section 315 of the Law;
–”District Medical Officer” has the meaning given in the Ordinance;
–”head of section” means the head of the hospitalization services of the Ministry of Health; and
–”the Minister” means the Minister of Health.
Chapter II: Recognized Medical Institution
2. The condition for the approval of a hospital as a recognized medical institution is that it shall contain a Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, or an operating theatre.
3. The conditions for the approval of a dispensary as a recognized medical institution are the following:
(2) Whilst in operation, there shall be on duty at least one qualified medical practitioner, holding the title of specialist in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, one medical practitioner, holding the title of specialist in Anaesthesiology, and a qualified male or female nurse recognized by the Ministry of Health;
(3) Its director shall be a qualified medical practitioner;
(4) A medical file shall be kept of a woman whose pregnancy has been interrrupted, and it shall be preserved, together with the Committee’s approval, for a period of seven years after the last treatment given to her in the dispensary.
4. In the gynaecological operating theatre there shall be:
(1) Four complete curettage sets;
(2) A vacuum curettage pump for the execution of the interruption of pregnancy;
(3) Uterine canulas for the performance of curettage and aspiration;
(4) A gynaecological table;
(5) An appropriate lighting device, to the satisfaction of the head of the section;
(6) Anaesthesia appliances, gas systems, accessories for anaesthesia;
(7) An aspirator;
(8) A resuscitation wagon;
(9) Equipment for the infusion of liquids;
(10) Anti-D serum; and
(11) Fluids for the treatment of shock, [and] at least Hartmann and dextran solutions.
5. The approval of a dispensary as a recognized medical institution is only for the interruption of a pregnancy of not more than ten weeks.
6. (a) The application for the approval of a dispensary as a recognized medical institution shall be submitted in writing, as per form 1 in the Appendix, to the head of section, via the District Medical Officer, and attached thereto shall be:
(1) The plan of the dispensary;
(2) The names, addresses, and degrees of the dispensary personnel working therein; and
(3) The list of the dispensary equipment.
(b) The head of section shall be entitled to request from the owner or the director of the dispensary additional particulars required for the implementation of the Law and of these regulations.
(c) The head of section shall examine the application and the dispensary, and shall transmit his recommendations in writing to the Minister.
7. The approval of a dispensary as a recognized medical institution shall be valid for three years and it may be renewed for periods not exceeding three years at a time.
8. The application for the renewal of an approval of a dispensary as a recognized medical institution shall be submitted in writing to the head of section, through the District Medical Officer, with an indication of the particulars, both existing and which may have been changed since the submission of the application for the approval of the dispensary as a recognized medical institution, or for the renewal of the approval, not later than two months before the expiry of the approval.
9. Should the conditions detailed in regulations 3 and 4 change after the submission of the application referred to in regulation 6 during the period of approval, the owner of the dispensary shall report such changes to the head of section soon thereafter; should the owner of the dispensary not report as stated, the Minister shall be entitled not to renew the approval of the dispensary.
10. (a) In case of a change of ownership of the dispensary, and, in the event of the ownership being in the hands of a corporate body, a change of more than half of the persons with voting rights therein, or in the case of change of the director of the dispensary, the approval of the clinic as a recognized medical institution shall lapse 30 days after the date of the change; should there be changes in the ownership, the District Medical Officer shall be entitled to postpone the date of the lapsing of the approval for an additional
(b) The Minister shall be entitled to cancel the approval of the dispensary as a recognized medical institution, if one of the following occurs:
(1) Activities contrary to the Law, to these regulations or to the conditions of the approval have been carried out;
(2) According to a report submitted to him by the head of section, one of the conditions detailed in regulations 3 and 4 is no longer being complied with;
(3) A report required under regulation 9 was not submitted to the head of section;
(4) The head of section or a person empowered by him in writing was not permitted to inspect the dispensary; or
(5) Gross negligence has been established in the treatment at the dispensary.
(c) The Minister is entitled to cancel the approval of a hospital as a recognized medical institution if one of the following occurs:
(1) Activities contrary to the Law or these regulations have been carried out;
(2) According to a report submitted to him by the head of section, the condition set forth in regulation 2 is no longer being complied with;
(3) The head of section or a person empowered by him in writing was not permitted to inspect the hospital; or
(4) Gross negligence has been established in the treatment connected with the interruption of a pregnancy.
Chapter III: Approval for Interruption of Pregnancy
11. A female secretary shall be appointed to each Committee by the person who appointed its members.
12. The members of the Committee shall elect one of them as chairman of the Committee.
13. (a) The applicant for the interruption of pregnancy (hereinafter referred to as “the applicant”) shall apply to the Committee secretary and shall deliver to her the results of the medical laboratory report, or a physician’s certificate determining that the applicant is pregnant, and, if in the opinion of the said physician, there are medical reasons for the interruption of the pregnancy, indicating such reasons.
(b) The applicant shall fill out a questionnaire including particulars about her identity and state of health, in the text of form 2 of the Appendix, as well as any other particular the Committee may find necessary to request, and she shall sign same.
(c) After receipt of the signed questionnaire, the secretary of the Committee shall refer the applicant to a qualified medical practitioner, referred to in Section 315(1) of the Law and shall inform her of the possibility of talking to, and consulting with, a social worker.
(d) The qualified medical practitioner referred to shall examine the applicant to determine the period of pregnancy, and shall explain to her the dangers involved in the interruption of the pregnancy and its possible consequences.
(e) Should the applicant have applied to a social worker, the latter shall submit a written report to the Committee.
(f) If the Committee approves the interruption of the pregnancy, the members of the Committee shall sign an approval in the text of form 4 in the Appendix, which shall be delivered to the applicant by the secretary.
(g) Should the members of the Committee be of the opinion not to give the applicant a positive response, the secretary shall inform the applicant to appear before the Committee to submit her reasons for the application for the interruption of the pregnancy.
(h) Should the Committee refuse to approve the interruption of pregnancy, it shall so state in writing, together with the reasons.
(i) Should the secretary of the Committee realize that it will not be possible for the Committee to consider the application during a reasonable period of time, in order not to prejudice the possibilities of interrupting the pregnancy, she shall obtain an attestation to that effect from one of the physician members of the Committee, and shall refer the applicant, in writing to another Committee.
(j) The Committee’s deliberations, and all the information it will receive further to the applicant’s requests, are secret and confidential, and are not to be revealed except if required for the purpose of implementing the Law and these regulations.
Chapter IV: Miscellaneous
14. The seat of the Committee shall be determined by the person having authority to appoint its members.
15. These regulations shall be designated as the “Penal Law (Interruption of Pregnancy)”, 5738-1978.