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Expanded Abortion Coverage in Israel Gets Subdued Response From U.S. Antiabortion-Rights Groups

Expanded Abortion Coverage in Israel Gets Subdued Response From U.S. Antiabortion-Rights Groups

January 9, 2014 — Socially conservative U.S. groups that support Israel have issued only muted reactions to its recent announcement that it will spend $4.6 million to extend publicly funded abortion coverage, the Daily Beast reports.

Until now, only women younger than age 18 and older than age 40 in Israel were eligible for abortions that were funded by the state. Other women had to pay with private funds, at a minimum cost of about $1,500. However, Israel this year will begin offering the publicly funded abortions to women ages 20 to 33, based on a recommendation from its health ministry.

Groups Distinguish Between Issues

According to the Daily Beast, a main reason antiabortion-rights groups and pro-Israel groups in the U.S. have been subdued in their response is that they distinguish between supporting its existence as a state and supporting its specific policies.

Christians United for Israel spokesperson Ari Morgenstern said, "CUFI is a single-issue organization that supports the democratically elected government of Israel regardless of whether or not we agree with the decisions taken by that government."

March for Life spokesperson Tom McClusky said, "A lot of people that I've partnered with [at March for Life] and at my former job [at the Family Research Council] who were pro-Israel were also pro-life." He added, "It seems they'd just be another country where we'd be looking to overturn a law."

Meanwhile, Steve Rosen, formerly of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, said the notion of distinguishing between various issues involving Israel extends to abortion-rights supporters as well. "The people who are the furthest left on the abortion issue are not going to be so happy about this news that it's going to change their unhappiness with Israel's settlement policy," he said (Krohn, Daily Beast, 1/8).