Israel To Probe Birth Control for Ethiopian Immigrants

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By Reuters

Published February 28, 2013.
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COMPLAINTS OF DISCRIMINATION

Israel has denied any policy to curb the birthrate among the 100,000 Ethiopian Jews who have moved to Israel since chief rabbis determined in 1973 that the community had biblical roots.

Some Ethiopian Jews have made it into Israel’s parliament and officer ranks in the military, but complaints of discrimination in schooling and housing are common.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which approved Depo-Provera in 1992, its prolonged use may reduce bone density and it should only be used for longer than two years if other birth control methods prove inadequate.

The documentary, broadcast on Israeli Educational Television, shows a nurse filmed by a hidden camera saying Ethiopian women were given Depo-Provera because they “don’t understand anything” and would forget to take birth control pills.

Rick Hodes, medical director in Ethiopia for the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, a non-governmental group that aids immigration to Israel, denied the accusation that women are coerced into receiving the injections before leaving their country for the Jewish state.

“Injectable drugs have always been the most popular form of birth control in Ethiopia, as well as among women in our programme,” Hodes wrote on Twitter.

“Our family programme is, and always (has) been, purely voluntary.” (Writing by Allyn Fisher-Ilan; Editing by Tom Pfeiffer)


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