An Israeli woman in her 30s waited more than a day with a dead fetus in her womb after her abortion was abruptly halted in a Tel Aviv hospital over a bizarre halakhic (Orthodox Jewish law) concern – even though the delay was allegedly dangerous for the woman.
Woman With Dead Fetus In Womb Denied Abortion Due To Bizarre Issue Of Ritual “Purity”
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
An Israeli woman in her 30s waited more than a day with a dead fetus in her womb after her abortion was abruptly halted in a Tel Aviv hospital over a bizarre halakhic (Orthodox Jewish law) concern, Israel’s Channel 2 News reported – even though the delay was allegedly dangerous for the woman.
The abortion was stopped because the hospital’s operating room lacked a special adjoining cubicle – a halakhic construct to prevent ritual “impurity” from the dead fetus from making kohanim (members of the priestly caste who often have last names like Friedman, Rapoport and Cohen) ritually “impure.”
The woman was the second month of her pregnancy when the baby died. After waiting in the hospital for hours, she was prepared for surgery.
But moments before the procedure was to begin, just as the woman was about to be sedated, the director of the operating room rushed in and announced that the woman will not be able to have the procedure because the operating room lacks the halakhic construct to prevent kohanim from becoming ritually “impure.”
The medical staff was reportedly shocked as was the woman's brother, who had come with her to the hospital. A doctor and the brother screamed and then tried to find out more about the decision and change it, but to no avail. One of the nurses warned that it is "dangerous for her to stay that way with a dead fetus in her body,” but the hospital refused to relent.
One of the hospital staff told Channel 2 News that the rabbi of the hospital is very strict.
“He’s big on walking around all the time and checking these things," he said.
Other operating rooms in the hospital used for abortion have a sign on the door indicating that a special system to prevent ritual “impurity” is in place.
A sign on their doors warns that a system to prevent ritual impurity is in place and warns that, "When the light is lit above the door you are forbidden to open it. Please wait patiently until the light goes off."
"Out of a desire to honor various sectors [of society] who use it, the hospital is committed to maintaining the purity of kohanim. Therefore abortions are performed according to the halakha, and in a dedicated area [only], in order to allow kohanim to walk around freely in the hospital,” the hospital said in a statement.
“Due inaccurate registration logs for the operating rooms…[a] mistake [was made]. Immediately after the error in the registry [was discovered], it was suggested to the patient that [we] perform the procedure the next day in the [correct] space provided…. We regret and apologize for the distress caused to the patient However, it is important to emphasize that the [delay] did not compromise at any stage of her health," the statement reportedly continued.
[Hat Tip: Seymour.]