A Bit of an Exaggeration
February 7, 2013 7:12 PM   Subscribe

The Independent misleadingly reported last week of an incident where Israeli officials forced Ethiopian immigrant women to be injected with the birth control Depo-Provera.

The Telegraph criticized the article for exaggerating and it has since come out that this issue is one more of 'tacit approval' than of 'force'. Israel's health ministry has since rewritten the guidelines for giving birth control. Some still aren't convinced that there isn't an element of dehumanization at work.

This hasn't been the first time that Depo-Provera has been used on women from emerging economies.
posted by dubusadus (6 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: This is a super inflammatory subject and to go okay here, this needs to be presented a lot more clearly and neutrally. -- LobsterMitten

Wow! Color me shocked that the Independent would assume the worst and write a lurid article when Israel's involved.
posted by ocschwar at 7:16 PM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

Yeah, no, trying to minimize this is bullshit. They injected women specifically from Ethiopia with Depo-Provera, in most cases without telling them what it was or claiming that it was "medicine" or "inoculation". That Torygraph article is dishonest horseshit; look, for example, at how they're saying that a shot which lasts 3 months is "hardly sterilization" without mentioning that the the shots continued for years and that this is a thing which has been going for a decade. Informed consent was neither sought nor given. Over half of the D-P used in Israel has been going to 1% of the population. That's not a mistake. That's not "cultural condescension". That's deliberate, concerted action.

This is a disgusting post which is seeking to minimize criminal ethnic cleansing and should be deleted.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:26 PM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

It's a reproductive rights version of the blood libel.
posted by gertzedek at 7:30 PM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

They injected women specifically from Ethiopia

Yes. Specifically women who are native speakers of Amharic. A language close enough to Hebrew that its speakers might think they understand what their doctor is saying when in fact they are completely at sea, and vice versa.

The only factual detail that the Independent can be trusted on is that these women were injected with Depo-Provera. Everything else has to be evaluated in light of it being the Independent.
posted by ocschwar at 7:30 PM on February 7, 2013

I'm reading your "tacit approval" link, and it really doesn't soften this story much:
a government official has acknowledged that women of Ethiopian origin were being injected with the contraceptive drug Depo-Provera, frequently without their consent.

[The Ethopian Jewish women] described how they were intimidated into taking injections while in transit camps in Ethiopia, given little explanation, and told that it was a condition for moving to Israel. One woman said: "They told us they are inoculations. They told us people who frequently give birth suffer. We took it every three months. We said we didn't want to." Many women continued the treatment once in Israel.
So the story says it was "frequently without their consent," that they were told the shots were vaccines instead of birth control, and they were stopped at the border and told they wouldn't be able to enter without the shots.

I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that some of these women were forced into the injections.

Then you say that the health ministry has "rewritten the guidelines for administering birth control," as though this is some anodyne policy issue. But your link gives this quote: "not to renew prescriptions for Depo-Provera for women of Ethiopian origin if for any reason there is concern that they might not understand the ramifications of the treatment." Which if implemented would seem to amount to a flat reversal of the policy, not some kind of technical fix.
posted by grobstein at 7:31 PM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

Pope Guilty: "criminal ethnic cleansing"

posted by gertzedek at 7:31 PM on February 7, 2013

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