Abortion. When one thinks of the many dangers and threats facing Israel, abortion is not usually on the list. But it should be. Since Israel's rebirth as a nation state 63 years ago, 40,000 Israeli babies have been lost to abortion on average every year. That's well over two million unborn children terminated, more than the number of Jewish children killed in the Nazi Holocaust.
Considering population growth rates over the past six decades, had those two million unborn babies been given a chance at life, there would be an additional 10 million Israelis today. The moral argument against abortion aside, in light of the perceived demographic threat to the Jewish state it is not difficult to see why abortion is such a danger to this tiny nation.
One of the very few organizations working to reverse this trend is Messianic-run Be'ad Chaim (Hebrew for "Pro Life"). Despite the fact that those running Be'ad Chaim are unreserved believers in Yeshua, the organization enjoys a considerable level of cooperation with state authorities, enabling it to help young women with unplanned pregnancies across Israel.
While Be'ad Chaim does actively battle against the phenomenon of "abortion-on-demand" in Israel, dealing with girls in what it calls "crisis pregnancies" calls for a softer approach.
"Our goal is to show women, and men, an alternative to abortion, so that they will choose life," reads Be'ad Chaim's website. "We want them to realize God's promise to His people, Israel, as he says in Deuteronomy 30:19: 'I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessings and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your children may live.'"
To accomplish that, Be'ad Chaim has a program that provides education and counseling at centers throughout Israel. After the girls have decided to keep their baby, Be'ad Chaim goes the extra mile and provides practical assistance by purchasing strollers, baby beds, clothes, diapers and formula, and even paying rent for those who would otherwise be unable to put a roof over their baby's head.
To give just a small taste of how Be'ad Chaim is impacting lives, Israel Today spoke to two of the hundreds of girls the organization helps every year. The girls' names have been changed to protect their identity.
When she was just 20-years-old, American-born Miriam found herself living as a homeless heroin addict on the streets of Jerusalem. What's worse, she was a pregnant 20-year-old heroin addict.
"I thought about doing an abortion," she said. "After all, what kind of life could I provide a baby?"
Fortunately, before Miriam could go through with the only option she felt was open to her, a fellow new immigrant directed her to Be'ad Chaim, which promptly went to work finding Miriam an adoptive home, getting her clean and teaching her why the life growing inside her was precious.
While Miriam had been exposed to faith in Yeshua (Jesus) earlier in her life, it wasn't until her experience with Be'ad Chaim that she became a true believer. Today, Miriam is drug-free and dedicated to her faith and her baby girl, who just celebrated her first birthday.
When Dafna became pregnant with her fourth child, she likewise found herself in a desperate situation. A certified alcoholic, Dafna was ready to take help from anyone (presumably in any form). But friends told her to try Be'ad Chaim first, and she does not regret taking their advice.
"Be'ad Chaim was far more loving toward the girls asking for help, and that drew me in," said Dafna. "The support was and continues to be simply amazing."
As is clear from the testimonies of Miriam and Dafna, the work of Be'ad Chaim is twofold. It is about saving the unborn child, but it is also about exposing the downcast mothers to the love of God, a gift that they can in turn impart to their children.
To learn more: www.beadchaim.com
To Donate to Be'ad Chaim through Israel Today:
Make your check payable to Israel Today and mail to:
P.O. Box 10110, Jerusalem, Israel 93503
* Please include a note that your check is for Be'ad Chaim