What it Means to Choose Life

Very early on in human history God said: “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life…” (Deut 30:19).

Israel has a deeply rooted respect for human life, as she would do anything to rescue their own citizens from any trouble. And yet, Israel is a country where abortion is staggeringly commonplace.

mother looking at a sonogram of a baby

Is abortion legal in Israel?

The Committee for Termination of Pregnancy approves almost 20,000 abortions a year. That is about 98% of all requests for an abortion made in Israel. Is abortion legal in Israel? Yes, but on top of that, it is estimated that an additional 20,000-30,000 abortions per year are done illegally.

These are overwhelming statistics. There are not words to express how much this breaks our hearts. Many young women in Israel do not even think of other options, because abortion has been so normalized and accepted here.

But let us share with you a glimmer of hope. There are followers of Jesus in this land who have dedicated their ministry to protecting both the mother and her unborn child. They are on a quest to stop abortion in Israel. 

Saying No to Abortion

We are thankful to partner with local ministries in Israel who have responded to this desperate need through the love of Jesus. One of them is Be’ad Chaim that does the noble work of raising awareness on the sanctity of life from conception.

Be’ad Chaim provides care, counseling, and practical training for expecting mothers. All the while, they are protecting the unborn by educating these women that abortion is not their only option. 

Many Israeli mothers-to-be choose life thanks to the support of Sandy, director of Be’ad Chaim and other counselors. Then, the pro-life organization supplies their practical needs up to an entire year post-birth! 

How Does it Work?

Be’ad Chaim knows that it is not enough to stand against abortion. The battle doesn’t end with carrying a pregnancy to term, because about 300 babies in Israel get abandoned at hospitals each year.

That is why Be’ad Chaim started its largest program, Operation Moses. Its vision is to support the mother and the baby in their first year of life together. Be’ad Chaim gives mothers vital aid such as diapers, cribs, strollers, and more.

“We are able to tell the moms, we aren’t just going to counsel you. We aren’t just going to speak to you. We’re also going to give you practical help. And that persuades many of the struggling women,” says Sandy Shoshani, director of Be’ad Chaim.

Since launching Operation Moses, Be’ad Chaim has been able to help save the lives of nearly 4,000 babies.

Before It’s Too Late

Aside from protecting the unborn, Be’ad Chaim brings counsel and healing to those hurting from PAS (post abortion syndrome). 

But to prevent that, we have to reach these women before they make their decision. Many women who get pregnant are scared of facing the challenges of being a single mom. Some are married, but deal with serious marital or financial problems. Be’ad Chaim wants all of them to know they are in fact not alone. 

This fall, the ministry has been putting pro-life advertising on buses, in people’s mailboxes, and even on billboards. Just so the ones who are struggling can notice the extended helping hand. 

Choose Life Regardless of Race or Religion

Their advertising gets noticed by all Israel residents, both Jew and Arab. A young woman of Muslim background experienced first hand how loving and accepting Be’ad Chaim counselors are. 

Nur was pregnant with her third child and her second marriage was falling apart. She was scared of being rejected by her family and her community, so she was looking for ways to have an abortion.

When Nur came across a Be’ad Chaim post on Instagram, she thought they would help her do exactly that. But to her surprise, the ministry counselor, Roberta, offered the opposite – to support her through the pregnancy. 

Life in the Womb

“[She] fell in love with my unborn baby and fought for him as if he were hers, without even seeing him,” Nur shared, and added that the counselor “never referred to his sex, race, religion, color, origin or anything of the sort… only that he was human.”

After Nur gave birth to Hamza, a beautiful boy, Be’ad Chaim supplied her with a bed, baby bath and a stroller. Nur was so grateful to Roberta from Be’ad Chaim and all their supporters that made it possible.

“Because of you, I have Hamza in my arms, full of love. Thank you… [Roberta] made it easy for me to continue the pregnancy with confidence,  joy and peace.”

First Care

Nur’s story is one of many. Be’ad Chaim has counselors in every area of Israel. Their primarily task is to encourage, inspire, support and befriend the moms. 

Before the pandemic, Be’ad Chaim used to hold lectures for mothers and expecting moms. Sometimes they focused on baby care. But more often they were about God’s love, forgiveness, healing from abuse and disappointments.

“It’s my hope and prayer to protect two lives – the baby and the mom,” said Sandy Shoshani, director of Be’ad Chaim.  

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Estera Wieja is a journalist, book author and public speaker, focused on the topics of Israel, Jewish history, and Judeo-Christian culture. Born and raised in Poland, Estera is a regular contributor to "Our Inspirations" magazine in Poland. She holds a bachelor's degree in Communications and Media from Azusa Pacific University (California, USA), and a master's degree in Journalism from University of Warsaw, Poland. Estera has lived in Jerusalem, Israel for several years before joining the staff at FIRM in 2018.
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