The Politics of Abortion in Israel

Key information

5:00 pm to 6:30 pm
Russell Square: College Buildings

About this event

Dr Rebecca Steinfeld (Dept of Political and International Studies, Univeristy of Birmingham)

This seminar paper will explore the politics of abortion in Israel from a gender perspective. It will be divided into three parts: a typology of legal frameworks for categorising the provision of abortion, so as to situate Israel comparatively; an overview of the historical evolution of access to abortion in Israel, and outline of the contemporary de jure and de facto situations, whereby abortion is limited, yet widely available; and an explanation of the gap between the formal restrictions on, and widespread access to, abortion in Israel. This will focus on the clash between religious and nationalist policymakers opposed to abortion, and women’s health and family welfare advocates who support access, as well as feminists resisting attempts to render women’s wombs national vessels. The outcome of this ‘war of the wombs’ has profound implications for reproductive justice and women’s rights in Israel.

Rebecca Steinfeld is a British writer, lecturer and broadcaster. She is a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Politics and International Studies at SOAS, and is one of 10 BBC and AHRC New Generation Thinkers 2013. She has a Masters in Near Eastern Studies from New York University (NYU), and a DPhil in Politics from St Antony’s College, University of Oxford. To listen to Rebecca talk about her research findings, please click on the following links: “Introduction to Fertility Policies in Israel” BBC Radio 3 (19 June 2013) and “Birth Right" Tablet Magazine (20 June 2011).

Organiser: Gina Heathcote

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Contact Tel: 020 7898 4367