Israel’s tradition of a high Jewish birth rate, along with its success in hi-tech, have helped make it the in vitro-baby capital of the world.
Approximately 30,000 vitro fertilization procedures take place annually in Israel, where four percent of Israeli babies are "vitro," four times the rate in the United States, The New York Times reports.
Many leading rabbis have given their blessing to the procedure, especially for a man and wife who have not been able to deliver their own biological children and fulfill the Biblical commandment to “be fruitful and multiply.”
Israelis, both Arabs and Jews, find it easier to use fertilization procedures because the expense is financed by Israel’s government-funded medical groups. Women under the age of 45 are allowed to bear two children through vitro procedures.
“I want at least three kids, and if we had to pay so much money I’m not sure we would be able to do this,” a woman identified only as “Vered” told Times’ writer Rina Castelnuovo.
“Thee family is an extremely important social institution in Israel and what makes a family is the children,” Hebrew University medical sociologist Sigal Gooldin told the writer. “Anyone who lives here is expected to have children.”
She added, “The unique thing about Israel is that it’s a high-tech culture on the one hand and a very traditional one on the other.”
The Assuta Hospital in Tel Aviv perform 7,000 procedures a year, making it the busiest such clinic in the world.