Pregnancy is hard enough for a woman, but try being a migrant –it’s harder. Israel’s migrant system is like most others in the world. Life is harder, rights are restricted and even getting a job can be impossible legally.
But even if the migrant woman had a difficult pregnancy, paid her own way through everything and ends up in the hospital to give birth, she will face new issues. There is a new set of issues that she will have to overcome, and hostility towards the migrant may be one of them.
There have been instances when some women have refused to be in the same room as a migrant.
Issues with birth certificates also arise. The parents will have to declare that they’re illegal aliens, and even receiving a copy of the certificate causes problems. Before 2013, a woman may be denied the certificate if they still had debt with the hospital.
Without this documentation, it puts the child at a significant disadvantage in Israel. You need to have a birth certificate for even something as simple as attending school. Parents that have struggled to birth a child, used the best ovulation calculator and thought that their child’s life would be better in Israel are finding out that they have a challenging road ahead of them.
The Ministry of Health has tried to ease this burden, and to some extent, they’ve been able to relax some of the birth certificate rules that stop parents from having their child’s most basic form of identification.
A committee has been formed to deal with the issues of migrant health.
Israel has also started to amend the Women’s Equal Rights Act. What this Act does is make the lives of pregnant women just a little easier. New legislation would allow pregnant women to skip long lines, offering a more comfortable life while the woman is pregnant.
This means that a pregnant woman would be able to cut the line at the supermarket, post office and other public service places.
Why were these new laws proposed?
A parliamentarian found that when he was overseas, his pregnant wife got special treatment. The same idea has been used in Israel for people over the age of 80. Lawmakers are trying to help pregnant women and older adults have an easier time when out in public places.
It’s a step in the right direction, giving pregnant women the right to be more comfortable in public and not have to stand on their already swollen feet for no reason.
Perhaps Israel will continue on this path and start allowing migrant women that are pregnant more rights. I am not saying that they should be made citizens and given the rights of an Israeli just because they’re pregnant.
But a reduction in the backlash and the regulatory hardships these women face in hospitals would be a positive change for Israel. Many of these women want a better life for their children, and Israel has the chance to offer this better life, but it needs to start with small, incremental changes.