Efrat Association Chairman Dr. Eli Schussheim, was interviewed by Arutz Sheva on the proposal of MK Yehuda Glick to include a rabbi or an Islamic kadi on the pregnancy termination committees.
There are 41 such termination committees operating in public or private hospitals across Israel. These committees consist of three members, two of which are licensed physicians, and one a social worker. In practice, nearly all requests for abortion are granted, and Israel is considered to have among the most liberal abortion procedures in the world. Since 2014, abortions for women aged 20-34 have been included in the basket of health benefits.
According to Schussheim, Glick's new proposal is not relevant and he is opposed to it. ''Pregnancy is a medical condition and only a doctor with a positive attitude in favor of women should be involved. This is why I founded the Association of Efrat - because almost every woman who has an abortion experiences a lifelong psychological trauma that is never erased.”
"30 years ago I proposed to the Minister of Health that the pregnancy termination committee must include a dentist. He laughed and I told him: 'I learned from a dentist that even when there’s a bad tooth he makes every effort to save the tooth and not have to pull it. I want whoever sits on a termination to expend similar efforts to save the fetus in cases where there is no danger to the women’s health.' In cases where it is a matter of the women’s health, I’m the first to agree to termination of the pregnancy."
Dr. Schussheim referred to a stormy discussion held on Monday about the abortion issue in the Knesset Committee on the Status of Women. "They do not understand the issue. I invite all those MKs to come to the Efrat Association and see how we managed to prevent more than 68,000 abortions.”
"We do not have a single case of a woman who was sorry in the end that she brought her child into the world. However, there are many cases of those who are sorry they had abortions. Happily, there is a decrease in the number of abortions, but the data shows that more than a hundred children a day are thrown into a trash can."
"Men do not interfere with the pregnant women," Dr. Schussheim explained, "Most of the Efrat Association volunteers are women who were going to have an abortion and were assisted by the organization, and today they help other women get through their own experience."
Dr. Schussheim emphasized, "In the end, it’s the woman herself who chooses - but before she decides to have an abortion we provide explanation and economic assistance, sometimes for a long time. We accompany the woman all the way. "