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Why it's wrong for an Israeli hospital to admit male gay couples into maternity ward as surrogate parents

Illustrative image (Photo: Shutterstock)

The notion that men can now invade spaces, which were separate and private for women only, has dominated the news over the last few months. But, up until now, we’ve only heard about such troubling events happening in the U.S., where transgender women (biological men) are now permitted to use female locker rooms, bathrooms and even assigned to women’s prisons.

So, we may have been a bit naïve to think that this sort of unthinkable invasion of gender privacy would not also reach the shores of Eretz Israel (the land of Israel). What seems to be a bad joke is the latest reality, as reported by Israel HaYom (Israel Today) newspaper.

The decision has been made to allow gay couples and single men, who are involved in surrogacy births, the right to be admitted, as in-patients, into the maternity ward which has, until now, been solely reserved for women.

The first facility to do so is Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva, a city close to Tel Aviv.  Permission will be granted to one man from the couple to be hospitalized, as well as have full access to receive any needed guidance or supervision from the hospital’s medical team. The article explains that this is being done, similar to “any couple about to give birth.”

But the question begs to be asked: “What possible medical assistance could be given to an in-patient man, in a maternity ward, other than how to hold his new baby, change a diaper, bathe a baby or stick a bottle in its mouth – all of which could easily be done on an out-patient basis?”

Clearly, this radical move, to place men in a hospital ward solely for women, is more than bizarre. It is a calculated measure which serves to further the advancement of gender-neutral philosophy – attempting to erase the vast differences which account for what makes women different from men. Ironically, the surrogate mother will not be hospitalized in the maternity ward but, rather, in the gynecological department.

Are we to think that the same post-partum, physiological issues, experienced by women who actually have gone through the tedious process of giving birth will, likewise, be experienced by these men who will be handed a baby, to take home, which came out of a woman’s womb? Will these men have bleeding issues, breast soreness, lactating difficulties or any of the other usual phenomena which accompany women after child birth? Certainly not, so why go the extra length to make these men feel as if they, too, are on par with women who have just undergone a medical process in their body?

Interestingly, this is being done under the guise of “facilitating the initial bonding process with the newborn baby.” Given the fact that most births are routine and uncomplicated, the majority of hospitals tend to discharge women within two to three days, once it is determined that they no longer need professional monitoring after the birth process. Since that is the case, and since hospital beds are at a premium, why not allow these men brief visitation, as is done with fathers of heterosexual couples? Is that insufficient for them, to the point where they have to completely disrupt those who really require hospitalization? 

It can only be explained as a deliberate activist-driven agenda, with the purpose of changing how society views gender. Dr. Roni Chen, director of the Delivery Rooms and Maternity Cepartment at Beilinson says, “As a member of the LGBT community, I deeply understand the adjustments that need to be made. The hospital is a home for all families, for all gay couples and single fathers. Gay parents will receive the care and special support we have built for them, which is adapted to the needs of the growing family.”

One can’t help but wonder if Beilinson would have had the distinction of being “the first Israeli hospital” to allow gay couples and men to become in-patient roomies in the women’s ward had this particular director, who controls the maternity department, not been gay, himself. By using his occupational position, to further this agenda, his blatant activism is on full display for all to see! In fact, he makes no secret of stating, “We have waited many years for a move that would allow couples to have children through surrogacy.”  

However, the issue of having children through means of surrogacy is an entirely other subject which is not, at all, linked or dependent upon men entering a female hospital ward, ultimately causing women to feel extremely uncomfortable, as well as violated, since their private space is no longer that!

In response to this shocking development, a group called “Fathers for Justice” has suggested that women refuse giving birth at Beilinson in order to send a strong message that such a measure will not be accepted. 

The thought of a post-partum woman sharing the bathroom with a man, sleeping in the same room and feeling violated as the curtain, surrounding their bed, is rolled back by one of the medical staff, is simply unacceptable for these women. This, by the way, is more than a small inconvenience or minor complication for both Orthodox Jewish and Arab women whose inner convictions would not allow for such a setup to exist, nor would their husbands.

Eliraz Fine, digital creator and spokesperson for Fathers for Justice warns that if women do not protest, then what has begun in Beilinson will surely happen in other hospitals, because there are already 300 such cases of surrogacy in progress. Therefore, this will, unquestionably, continue to grow and spread to other medical facilities. Consequently, Fine began the #Don’t give birth at Beilinson platform. 

It should be noted that none of this could have been approved until a law was passed by Israel’s Knesset, making it completely legal to allow hospitals to admit men into women’s birthing areas. Again, one can only wonder if Knesset member activists were responsible for pushing this legislation through, as a result of using their political position to radically change policy.

While some may look at this move as “progress” and the advancement of equal rights for both sexes, they may, first, want to poll birthing women about how they feel having their privacy violated, because there is no doubt that their own personal rights have taken a back seat to those who believe there is truly no difference between the considerations of men who can’t give birth and females who can.

Sadly, as Fine says, if women don’t speak out, they will be relegated to a second-class position, which apparently is the real goal of this gender game.

** For Hebrew speakers, watch Dana Varon here as she speaks on this subject from her own perspective.

A former Jerusalem elementary and middle-school principal and the granddaughter of European Jews who arrived in the US before the Holocaust. Making Aliyah in 1993, she is retired and now lives in the center of the country with her husband.

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