VILNIUS, Lithuania, November 24, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) - After being the first country to legalize abortion in 1920 under dictator Vladimir Lenin, the former Soviet Union reversed its position in 1936, only to change its position again in 1955. Yesterday, fifty years ago, the government of the former USSR legalized abortion for the whole Soviet Union and occupied countries such as Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The resulting loss of life has been staggering with abortion used as the primary means of ‘birth control’ and in some cases abortions outstripping births.

LifeSiteNews.com spoke with Rev. Robertas Skrinskas in Lithuania who noted that a special memorial Mass was celebrated today in the Domeikava` Martyrs of Lithuania parish (near Kaunas). Bells of the church rang for 50 minutes mourning the 50 years of legalized killing. After a noon Mass celebrated by seven priests, there was a special memorial conducted by students at the local high school.

Recent statistics for former Soviet nations such as Romania reveal that more children are aborted than allowed to be born. Statistics for 2003 note that in the first nine months of 2003 alone, 170,000 abortions were committed - 8000 more children were aborted than were born alive in the same period. In 1990 Romania saw more than three abortions recorded for each birth in 1990.

Conservative estimates put the Russian abortion rate at 60% of all pregnancies, approximately a tenth of which are on girls under 18.

A 2000 report from the World Health Organization revealed that “Russia and Central-Eastern Europe, with roughly 10 percent of the global population, accounts for up to a third of the 30 million to 40 million abortions registered annually around the world.”