Israel's reproductive policy has always aimed at raising fertility rates within the country's Jewish population. The present paper traces this policy and its implications on various population sectors from the mid-1940s to the present, as situated within a web of political, economic and religious interests. It reviews main changes in reproductive policy throughout the state's history and then addresses three related dilemmas, which are of particular interest in the Israeli context: (i) women's reproductive autonomy within a proactively pronatalist climate, (ii) civil and state reproductive responsibility in a country that encourages exceptionally high fertility among a relatively poor, uneducated, religious population and (iii) the implications of a politicised notion of childbearing, as a contribution to the nation-building effort, on the reproductive and civil rights of Israeli women. The discussion ends by pointing at the complexities of morally assessing reproductive policies even within a given context.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Political Science and International Relations