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Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Israeli Rape Victims of Hamas Face Harrowing Decision over What to Do about Pregnancies

'There are girls who have not gotten their period in a long time. Perhaps we all have to pray that their bodies protect them and they won’t get pregnant from rape...'

(Jacob Bruns, Headline USA) Throughout Israel’s conflict with Hamas, conservatives have relished a sort of moral clarity in seeing the Jewish nation-state’s actions as a just response to the unprecedented atrocities of Hamas’s Oct. 7 terrorist incursion.

However, its treatment of the unborn may prove to be the dividing line for some after Israel unveiled its “support” plans for women taken hostage who have since been impregnated by their captors.

More than 130 Israelis—including young women and teenage girls—remain hostages of Hamas after nearly four months, the New York Post reported.

Chen Almog–Goldstein, 49, a former Hamas hostage who was released after nearly two months in captivity, said that some of the female hostages already had stopped menstruating.

“There are girls who have not gotten their period in a long time,” she said. “Perhaps we all have to pray that their bodies protect them and they won’t get pregnant from rape.”

Now the country’s ministries of Welfare and Health are creating plans to help the impregnated women abort the unwanted pregnancies upon their return.

In Israel, a woman wanting an abortion typically must go through a bureaucratic process that could take weeks to navigate, but in this instance, officials are considering bypassing this typical step, the Israeli outlet Walla reported.

Women who keep the babies will receive aide from the state, including financial and legal assistance, but Israel will also help those who want to “terminate” their pregnancies get abortions.

Some have even used the fears of producing hybrid Hamas–Israeli babies as political leverage, pressuring Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to secure the hostages in time to perform abortions.

“I am uncertain how they will cope, but we must prepare now for this terrible theoretical possibility of a woman conceiving or raising such a child,” said Tal Biron-Shental, chair of obstetrics and gynecology at Meir Medical Center in Kfar Saba. “Thus, we must stop this atrocity, not allow the captives to perish there, bring them back, and provide them with care.”

The dilemma is likely to roil some pro-life conservatives in the U.S., who maintain that Hamas’s evils—including its decapitation of babies—still fail to justify even more infanticide.

Meanwhile, for the Israeli victims coping with the trauma of their own captivity and assault in the most dehumanizing of ways, the idea of nurturing a child born out of such circumstances may be out of the question.

“The terrorists bring inappropriate clothes—doll clothes—and turned the girls into their dolls—dolls on a string with which you can do whatever you want and whenever you want,” recalled Aviva Siegel, a former hostage who was released after 50 days.

“… There wasn’t a minute that we didn’t go through some form of abuse. And they’re still there, surviving, barely,” Siegel continued. “I’m still there, my body is there. The boys are also abused, what the girls are going through. Maybe they don’t go in for pregnancy, [but] they are also a puppet on a string.”

Headline USA’s Ben Sellers contributed to this report. 

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