By Yael Hashiloni-Dolev and Nitzan Rimon-Zarfaty
In 2009, Israel was one of the first countries to authorize social egg freezing, before it was declared non-experimental.
Israel is a highly pronatalist familistic society with relatively high marriage rates, low divorce rates, and the highest birth rate among OECD countries. Israeli pronatalism frames the favorable Israeli approach to fertility medicine and preservation. Currently, egg freezing is used for both medical and social reasons, and for transgender men.
Israeli policy views social egg freezing as primarily enabling, based on liberal ideology, “individual autonomy.”
Indeed, on one hand, social egg freezing has been praised as a revolutionary solution for women’s age-related fertility decline, thus providing women with liberating opportunities. On the other hand, it has been criticized for as oriented toward women’s bodies rather than toward taking away social obstacles to their full participation in the labor market and society in general. Giant corporations such as Apple and Facebook have offered funding for social egg freezing to their female employees while provoking ongoing bioethical and public debates regarding their implications, including; medicalization, (dis)empowerment, “appropriate” motherhood, medical risks, and success rates. This post considers these debates with a focus on the Israeli context.