COVID-19 and Abortion

As a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, pregnant women haven’t been coming to our office out of fear of coming in contact with an infected person on their way here or home. On our part, we don’t want to make appointments with women, because of concern that they, themselves, might be infected. In light of the Israeli government’s restrictions, it is probably a wise thing to do. Nevertheless, pregnant women continue to call us on the phone during this pandemic crisis to ask a multitude of health-related questions due to their concern over the possibility of contracting the virus, how it would affect their pre-born child, whether they should abort, how can they protect themselves, and more.

Mixed Messages from Authorities

Israel’s Ministry of Health has ordered that only certain “elective” medical procedures can be performed during the crisis, and they did not include voluntary abortions in the list. As a result, hospital administrators, in consultation with the local abortion committee, determine whether or not to carry out the termination of a pregnancy. Obviously, some will approve it, while others that normally do, won’t – at least for now – until further notice. As a result of the present situation, the abortion committee for each hospital appears to be deciding whether to reduce the number of abortions performed and how much to reduce. Presently, there seems to be a widespread cancellation of appointments to perform abortions, most probably due to the fact that women, who are generally healthy, don’t want to be exposed to the potential risks of disease by going to the hospital.

Ultrasound Imaging of a pregnant woman

Some women’s organizations have applied to the Ministry of Health, asking them to add “cessation of pregnancy” (abortion) to the list of exceptional procedures, as well as to find a solution that would allow the continued performance of an abortion during this period, while maintaining the safety of teens and women, and reducing unnecessary trips to the hospitals.

The Essential Services Argument

These organization argue that “Termination of pregnancy is not a procedure that can be delayed and violating the right to accessible and safe abortions could very well cause women to act out of despair in ways that would endanger them. We must protect those women so they can receive this essential service, despite the current situation.” This, by the way, is also the position of pro-abortion organizations in the United States.

All forms of birth control are also being presented as an “essential service.”

The Ministry of Health says that in every hospital there is an Exceptions Committee that can decide on matters that are not included in the list of approved procedures, and that it is up to them to determine if a procedure is needed, including abortions.

So, while many appointments for voluntary abortions are being cancelled, there is a strong push to try to get the hospitals to be more flexible in performing abortions and in bypassing the abortion committee.

Women are Seeking Answers

Nevertheless, our phone continues to be busy, with calls being forwarded to Orit or to Irena. Praise the Lord! Women want someone to listen to them and to encourage them to continue their pregnancies, which is what we do, while others are pressuring them to abort. This is not an easy time for them.

Imaging, such as this one of a 12-week unborn child reveal the life within a woman.

To drive the point home, another article from 21 March, 2020, appeared in the Hebrew news publication Devar, The Workers in Israel, entitled Pregnancy and Birth in the Shadow of the Plague, in which it listed a series of questions and answers.

In the last full paragraph, the question is asked: If I test positive to the virus, will the virus be transferred from me to the baby?

The answer, according to Prof. Roni Maimon, Chairman of the Israeli Midwives and Gynecology Organization and Director of the Women’s and Newborn’s Unit in the Shamir Medical Center – Asaf HaRofeh, was: 

“From all appearances, the virus does not go from the mother to the [pre-born child – in Hebrew, the term used is “fetus”] in the womb, nor during the process of giving birth or in the mother’s milk. It can be transmitted from the parent to the child by close contact. On the other hand, the baby needs close contact with his or her mother. The question whether the baby should be separated from the mother, or if it is enough that the mother protects herself while she is in contact with the baby is still being clarified.”

Translated from Devar, The Workers in Israel, 21 March 2020

From various reports, the number of abortions has declined in various countries around the world, due to closure of health facilities and institutions that provide assistance to women, not only in treatment, but of supplies of usually available means of contraception.

No Clear Answer

One of the Hebrew papers reported that The American Disease Control Center addressed the issue of the presence of coronavirus in breast milk, the risk of infecting infants in the uterus, and the risk of birth defects and miscarriages. It determined that the risk of transmitting the virus to an unborn child (they refer to the child as a fetus) or to a newborn during labor is unknown. To date, none of the newborns has been found to be infected with COVID-19, nor was the virus detected in the amniotic fluid of the pre-born children. So, clearly, the coronavirus is not a reason to encourage abortion.

However, research has not stopped there; it is looking at the only “known” based on the prior coronavirus epidemics – SARS and MERS, as well as regular flu viruses. For those viruses, pregnant women were found to be more susceptible to complications; hence, they are being advised to keep a safe distance between themselves and COVID-19 carriers who are in isolation.

A Call to Prayer

May life be snatched from the jaws of death and bless those who choose life.

Thank you all for standing with us in prayer and material support during this unprecedented time in our recent history. Please keep our team in prayer, that we would have wisdom to answer the many questions directed toward us. And please continue to remember the woman facing a decision for life, as well as those who have already made that decision.

Bless, be blessed, and be a blessing. Marvin (for us all)

Followup: Emergency Prayer Request

The family exerted tremendous pressure and the sister-in-the-Lord gave in and aborted her child. This was after we had informed them of the fact that a believing couple here was willing to adopt the child if the child was born less than healthy. If born healthy, then the natural parents would take him. We were told in no uncertain terms that such a suggestion was out of the question and that there is no way that they would allow the pregnancy to continue. It’s the classic argument: If we won’t have the child, no one will. Our hearts are broken.
Indeed, our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the powers, the principalities, the forces of wickedness in high places.
Every child is a gift, a blessing. We do everything we can within the ability and resources that we have been given, fighting for one child at a time. We have been blessed with many women who decided against abortion. During the last few months, almost every woman who was abortion-minded and received counsel from our CPC chose life. Two of them gave birth to twins, one to boys and the other to girls. It was a good ending for 2014 and a great beginning for 2015. No wonder the enemy of our souls doubled his efforts to kill and destroy. Not only was a developing life lost, but there will undoubtedly be post-abortion trauma that will show itself at some point.
We press on. We cannot do otherwise. The blood of these children cries out to us and we cannot stop working to help cleanse this land from the shedding of innocent blood.
Thank you for your love and prayers and for your willingness to stand in the gap.
In Messiah,
Marvin

Emergency Prayer Request

A young woman who came to us for counselling is scheduled for an abortion tomorrow. She was told that her child is “defective” and is under tremendous pressure from her doctors and her husband to abort the child – their second. After Orit pleaded with her not to go through with it, but allow us time to petition before the Throne of Grace, she agreed to hold off for a week. She is a sister in the Lord.

 

Please bring this before the Lord in prayer. He is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond anything that we can ask or think. We know that what He does is always for His glory.

 

With thanks and blessings in Yeshua, the Lord of Life,

 

Marvin (for all of us at A Future and A Hope)