The Israeli government was forced to admit today that immigration officials coerced Ethiopian immigrants to receive injections of Depo-Provera, a birth control shot that lasts for three months with each injection.
A number of Ethiopian immigrants alleged that they were told they would not be allowed to enter Israel unless they received the shot, according to an investigative report by an Israeli Journalist that aired Sunday.
The report also alleged that these women were coerced into getting the shot repeatedly after they arrived, and that many were given the shot without knowledge of what they were receiving.
Depo-Provera is rarely used by women without specific health reasons because of its crazy side effects, including worsened menstrual bleeding, delayed return of fertility, and an extremely high infant mortality rate for infants born after their mother has used Depo-Provera. Given the intentions of the program, its possible Israeli officials saw this as an added bonus.
It is too soon to tell how systematic this forced vaccination was, but the birth rate among Ethiopians in Israel has fallen by half.
In response, Israel has asked its physicians to stop giving Depo-Provera to those of Ethiopian descent unless the patient demonstrates a full understanding of the drug’s purpose.
Some have pointed out that Israel’s actions potentially violate article IId of the Genocide convention, which prohibits “imposing measures intended to prevent births within [an ethnic or religious group].”
America’s Christian right, which has made such a fuss about providing birth control to women who actually want it, is of course outraged by Israel’s actions. Because they are paragons of intellectual consistency.