Protests against the awarding of a prize to a pro-life NGO have only led to an increase in the volume of applications to the group.
"Pro-choice" activists demonstrated Monday outside and inside the tenth Jerusalem Conference as a prize was awarded to a representative of Dr. Eli Schussheim, head of Efrat, a pro-life NGO that counsels and informs women considering performing abortions, and attempts to dissuade them and assist them.
Dr. Schussheim was stuck in the Ukraine and was unable to receive the prize in person, because the airline that was supposed to bring him to Israel had just gone bankrupt.
"On my way to Israel, I already heard about the protest by women who demonstrated outside the Jerusalem Conference in heavy rain," he told Arutz Sheva. "This is the first time such a strange protest has taken place. People who protest are usually people who were hurt by something – like nurses, or the disabled. This was a protest in which none of the protesters had been hurt by Efrat."
"The protest was against 54,000 children," he said – referring to children who otherwise might not have been born, if Efrat had not been there for their mothers and fathers.
"I had intended to go out and meet the protesters and tell them that we have a common goal, to take care of the wellbeing and respect the will of women," he explained.
"You have complaints? Come to us. We will come to you. We will meet. Tell us directly what the things are that bother you and together we can find the way to make sure that each woman can choose the best path, so she is not harmed emotionally or health-wise. Usually the problems are financial. We all agree in general that one does not end a life because of money."
"The protest led to an increase in the number of applications. The thing that bothers me is when I hear a woman who had an abortion and is now very sorry, she says – 'too bad I did not know of your existence. If I had known I would not have had the abortion.' This bothers me. And advertising is a function of financial resources which we do not always have because we don't get any help from the government. And so, when Efrat makes the news, and it does not matter how, even through demonstrations, the public becomes aware that there is a body here that can lend help. It is hard to find a woman who truly wants to abort her child. She is doing it because of pressures."