Russia bans ads for abortion
MOSCOW, November 25, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Russian Federation has enacted a new law banning abortion advertising in the ongoing effort to stem the country's decline in population, according to Russian media.
TR Novosti reports that the abortion ad ban is part of broader changes to Russia’s Federal Law on Advertising that include a ban on advertising campaigns offering free drug samples if these samples contain narcotic or psychotropic substances, and restrictions on the advertising of traditional "folk medicine" practices.
The Duma is considering a number of other proposals that would stop Russia’s demographic death spiral, fueled by an abortion rate of 1,022 per 1,000 births, according to some statistics. The United Nations estimates that the population of Russia, which stood at 143 million in 2008, will shrink to 116 million by 2050.
To combat the abortion epidemic, legislation has been proposed that would ban free abortions at government-run health clinics; require prescriptions for the ‘morning-after’ pill; require parental consent for teenagers and a husband’s consent for married women; and mandate a one-week waiting period before an abortion is performed. Other proposals have included increasing the 2,000 ruble ($70) monthly government subsidy offered to pregnant women.
Steven Mosher, President of the Population Research Institute, pointed out that despite government incentives such as a baby bonus that offers the equivalent of $9,000 upon the birth of every child after the first, and calls from Russian President Vladimir Putin for families to have at least three children, abortion is still occurring in epidemic proportions.
"As long as society fails to recognize the value of human life, and wantonly destroys it in large numbers, it will be difficult to establish a new three-child norm. Abortion must cease being a way of life in Russia if her people are to survive," Mosher said.
Earlier this month the head of the State Duma Committee for Family and Children said the Russian people must stop tolerating abortion and the recent rise in surrogacy because they threaten to “wipe out the population of Russia.”
Speaking at a history forum dedicated to the 400th anniversary of the Russian royal house of Romanov, MP Elena Mizulina said, “The problems of abortion prevention and the shift in public opinion towards abortion are currently very urgent. Although the number of abortions in Russia is falling, it still exceeds 5 million every year.”
Mizulina added that though the practice of surrogacy was relatively new in Russia, the societal implications are of great concern to her.
“We still can stop the consequences of this practice from happening. It can and must be used only in exceptional cases,” Mizulina explained.
“Humanity will probably understand one day that as we ban nuclear weapons to prevent the death of Mother Earth, so should we ban the technology destroying the natural environment and natural childbirth, the natural way of human reproduction,” the MP said.
She said that she believes the Russian people as a whole are against surrogacy, as they are in favor of “Orthodox Christian spiritual values and the family as the keeper of these values.”
Pro-life legislation aimed at rolling back Russia’s abortion culture has been strongly supported by the Russian Orthodox Church.
Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia proposed a series of measures on the Moscow Patriarchate’s website, urging the Ministry of Health and Social Development to make “preservation of pregnancy a priority task for the doctor” and discourage incentives for abortion.
The Russian patriarch also advocated state support for pro-motherhood media campaigns, and suggested setting up crisis pregnancy centers in every maternity hospital to help “lonely mothers in difficult life situations.”
In October, a representative of the Russian Orthodox Church blasted the legality of surrogacy in Russia as “mutiny against God.”
Dmitry Smirnov, the head of the Moscow Patriarchy Commission for Family, Motherhood and Childhood, made the comment after Russian media reported in September that a 64-year-old Russian pop star and her 37-year-old husband had two children born through surrogate motherhood.
“I would ban this, of course. We can see that a bad example is contagious,” the senior church representative was quoted to say by Interfax. “This is mutiny against God, this is very happy fascism with a contract, the money and confiscation of a child.”
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