2013-02-06 / Mideast

Health Ministry halts contraception

Israel’s Health Ministry has ordered the four public health maintenance organizations to stop giving Ethiopian Israelis a longacting contraception injection.

The order comes more than a month after an Israeli Educational Television report alleging that Ethiopian immigrant women have been coerced into taking contraceptive shots, which is behind a 50 percent decline in the Ethiopian birth rate in Israel over the last decade.

Ethiopian women interviewed in the program, called “Vacuum” and hosted by Gal Gabbai, said they were coerced into receiving injections of Depo-Provera, a long-acting birth control drug, at Jewish-run health clinics and following their move to Israel.

A letter issued by Health Ministry director-general Ron Gamzu told the HMOs “not to renew prescriptions for Depo- Provera for women of Ethiopian origin if for any reason there is concern that they might not understand the ramifications of the treatment,” Haaretz reported. (JTA)

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