MOSCOW, June 2, 2011 ( – Conservative parliamentarians, with the backing of Russia’s Orthodox Church, are drafting legislation aimed at reducing the more than 1 million abortions performed in Russia each year.

Yelena Mizulina, chairwoman of the Duma (parliamentary) Committee for Family, Women and Children, said that Duma deputies, doctors, sociologists, and economists, as well as representatives of the Ministry of Health and Social Development and the Orthodox Church took part in drafting the bill.

The proposed legislation would ban free abortions at government-run clinics and require a prescription for the ‘morning-after’ pill, Mizulina said in a RIA Novosti report.

The bill would also require a married woman seeking an abortion to have her husband’s permission, and teenage girls would need the consent of their parents.

In addition, the proposed legislation would require a one-week waiting period to allow a woman to reconsider her decision before having her child killed through abortion.

The draft law also suggests that monthly payments to pregnant women should be increased. At present, the figure is 2,000 rubles ($70) a month until birth.

“The bill aims to create the conditions for a pregnant woman to opt for giving birth. We have public support but does the ruling party hear us?” said Mizulina, a member of the left centrist Just Russia party.

Orthodox Church spokesman Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, head of the Synodal Department for Church and Society Relations, told a meeting of those involved in drafting the bill, “I hope that very soon we will live in a Russia without abortions.’’

Hieromonk Dimitry Pershin, head of the Information and Publishing Directorate of the Synodal Youth Department, added that the national idea should include taking care of pregnant women; it should become “the main idea of today’s Russia.”

According to the 2010 census, Russia’s population has dropped from 145 million in 2002 to under 143 million, with the death rate continuing to exceed the birth rate despite government efforts to reverse the decline in population.

Russian Health Ministry records show nearly 1.3 million abortions were committed in 2009.

Yelena Mizulina suggested the total number was closer to 6 million if abortions at private clinics and chemical abortion numbers were figured in.

Mizulina said she hopes the bill will be considered in parliament sometime this month and that the public, long accustomed to view unrestricted abortion as the government-sanctioned method of family planning, will support the legislation.