There is a raging controversy in Israel where feminists and doctors have accused health officials of using a controversial birth control drug Depo Provera on female Ethiopian immigrants. The activists charge that the policy is based on racism and doubts over the “Jewishness” of the Ethiopians.
A report found a threefold increase in the use of Depo Provera and that 57 per cent of Depo Provera users in Israel are Ethiopian — even though they represent less than two per cent of the total population.
About 90,000 Ethiopians have entered Israel under the Law of Return but some rabbis have challenged their Jewish roots while activists have charged racism.
While the scandal is growing over “forced” contraception, I have not seen evidence of such force. What is confusing in these reports is whether the women were made aware of the use and side effects of the drug. Presumably, they consented to the use of such a contraceptive. Some doctors are quoted as saying that they were told to use Depo Provera. It appears that this dispute could become a state-to-state conflict between Israel and Ethiopia.