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Health minister changes rule, allows artificial insemination access to ‘chained’ women

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's religions and Diaspora affairs correspondent.

Illustrative image: A lab in an IVF clinic. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Illustrative image: A lab in an IVF clinic. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz changes his ministry’s policies to allow so-called “chained women” to be given access to artificial insemination and other fertility treatments, following years of efforts by activists.

Until now, such options were all but off-limits for “chained” women — those whose husbands refuse to grant them a divorce, known in Hebrew as a get, leaving them in a state of religious and legal limbo — as Health Ministry guidelines required the consent of a married woman’s partner before she could use them.

Horowitz is now revising those guidelines, despite stiff opposition from the Chief Rabbinate.

“On this matter as with any medical issue, the only consideration that the Health Ministry must take into account is the professional medical consideration,” Horowitz says. “Non-medical considerations are not relevant to the ministry’s guidelines and we will remove them.”

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