The results of the State Comptroller’s Examination clean the Israeli authorities for suspicion of forcing pregnancy shots as a condition for immigration while threatening and concealing information. In light of the JDC’s activities in Ethiopia, partial information was received 28.01.2016http://www.haaretz.co.il/news/education/.premium-1.2833111
State Comptroller Yosef Shapira, states that there is no evidence that Ethiopian immigrants received oral contraceptives under pressure or threats. This emerges from the full summary of the comptroller’s investigation. It was also found that the HMOs and the Ministry of Health in Israel were not instructed to administer Depo-Provera injections to these women and that they used a variety of contraceptives and explained their choice. However, the document obtained by Haaretz indicates that the comptroller’s office did not speak with the women who, three years ago, testified in a television report that they were forced to receive the shots.
The summary also shows that the State Comptroller’s review of the JDC’s role in Ethiopia in this matter leaves open questions: the organization’s member who handled family planning there did not respond to the request to provide information, and in 2012 only 360 women intended for aliyah received the injection.
The findings of the examination regarding the imposition of injections in Israel are inconsistent with the findings of the investigation published three years ago, and included testimonies of women who said they had been required to receive an injection as a condition for immigration, threatening and concealing information about the injection. The Comptroller’s Office notes that they did not hold talks with these women for the purpose of the examination, and therefore their claims were not refuted. However, no evidence or document proving these claims was found. The talks with the women did not take place, although there is no reason not to talk to private individuals who do not belong to personnel from the offices of the ministry.
The coalition of social organizations said in response that “it is surprising how can a thorough investigation be carried out without talking to the injured women at all?”
The auditor’s review took place from November 2013 to March 2015 at the request of Knesset members. The test summary was sent to the relevant authorities two weeks ago. They were required to pass on their comments to him by the end of the week. The comptroller divided his examination into two areas. In Ethiopia before immigration, and in Israel after immigration, absorption centers, the Ministry of Health and the health funds.
In the examination of the treatment in Ethiopia, prior to the immigration, there was no unequivocal evidence of a lack of coercion, as was the case in Israel. Most of the tests were carried out by the three agencies operating in the field of health, among those intended to immigrate: the Jewish Agency, the JDC and the Israeli Ministry of Health. The comptroller emphasizes that there was no evidence of allegations of forced injections, but he also expressed difficulty in examining the Jewish Agency and the JDC. “The comptroller’s examination found no evidence of the claims made regarding injections for the prevention of pregnancy under pressure or threats, and it should be noted that the JDC and the Jewish Agency are not controlled bodies, as defined in the law.”
The report shows that the agency did not deal with planning family or health matters in its activities to raise the Ethiopians and was not found to be involved in giving birth control injections.
On the other hand, the JDC’s examination of this issue leaves open questions. The clinic operated by the organization in Addis Ababa has been run by Dr. Rick Hodes since the early 1990s, and the report states that the visitor tried to contact him and receive information, but was not answered. This is a family planning clinic. The report said that according to the director of the Joint Distribution Committee, Aviv Shaviv, the JDC’s activities in Ethiopia was mainly to prevent infectious diseases and hygiene education. At these meetings, the women began to take an interest in contraception, and the teams informed them of the Depo-Provera injections.
The data provided to the visitor by the Joint reveal that in 2012, 407 women attended family planning classes at the Joint Clinics, and 361 of them received a Depo-Provera injection. The rest took pills. It is not known how many women received Depo-Provera waiting in Ethiopia for immigration, and the JDC has no data for the years prior to 2012. “Mr. Shaviv stressed that the medical information was given by Amharic speaking nurses, who chose to participate in the meetings voluntarily, and that the women themselves decided whether to use contraception, which types and whether to use contraception from one type of contraception, According to the report, the Israeli investigation shows unequivocally that there was no directive to give Depo-Provera injections to immigrants from Ethiopia. [Supplement in print] Data from the Maccabi Health Fund indicate that between 2003 and 2013, of 2,828 Israelis who received these injections, Only 11% were from Ethiopia, and it was not found that they were given prescriptions for Depo-Provera in a sweeping manner.
Data from Clalit Health Services showed that of all Ethiopian women of reproductive age in 2005-2009, only 8% used Depo-Provera injections.