Ben-Ari, 40, is in an unprecedented situation for an Israeli lawmaker: She’s single and pregnant for the first time, with a child she plans to raise with a close friend, Ophir, 41, who is gay. The two began the in-vitro fertilization process in 2014, before she entered politics, and they’re expecting a daughter in March.
Reactions to Ben-Ari’s announcement, from her family and the public, have been overwhelmingly positive.
“I think everyone who has a bit of common sense realizes that for a woman who is almost 41 years old, the easiest thing I can do is travel and enjoy life and care only about myself, but what I’m saying is I want to take care of someone else. This is the least egoistic thing I can do. It’s not just about myself,” she stated.
Her decision to make her choice public was carefully thought out, Ben- Ari explained.
“I want to set an example and be a role model for other women who are successful but are worried about taking this step,” she said. “I also don’t want people telling stories, since I’m single and in the Knesset. I don’t need all the gossip. This is the truth, this is what I did, now let’s move on.”
“Israel is very, very advanced when it comes to fertility treatments. The government helps a lot and it doesn’t cost a lot if you don’t need a sperm donor. I did it through a public hospital and found it to be inexpensive and accessible,” she said. “We’re better than the US and Europe on this; there’s no comparison. In Israel, the situation is excellent.”