The paper examines the formulation and implementation of abortion politics in Israel. Liberalisation of abortion, triggered by the need to enable poor women to terminate unwanted pregnancies, enjoyed wide consensus. The highly controversial repeal of the social-cause clause, prompted by coalition bargaining, was aimed at encouraging fertility. Both policies failed to realise intentions of decision-makers. Liberalisation of abortion did not result in population control among the poor; restriction of abortion did not lead to increasing birth rates. The reasons for the unsuccessful impact are grounded in the hidden agenda, caused by the incompatibility between two policy goals: curbing birth rates among the poor and encouraging fertility among the Jewish population on the whole. The hidden agenda hindered the achievement of impact: population control policy was not followed up by family planning. Population growth policy was not followed up by economic incentives.