Russia gets ready to slap warning labels on abortion ads
MOSCOW, July 1, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Russian Federation is poised to enact a new law that requires abortion advertisements to include warnings explaining the health risks associated with the procedure.
According to Reuters, Russia’s Federation Council is expected to pass the bill, which has already been approved by the Duma. Once passed, President Dmitry Medvedev will likely sign the bill.
RIA Novasti reports that the measure requires abortion advertisers to dedicate 10 percent of the ad’s space to listing potential health risks to women from abortion, including permanent infertility.
Viktor Zvagelsky, a Russian parliamentarian, told RIA that Russia’s abortion problem was “depressing,” and that young girls were being deceived to “believe they won’t have any problems interrupting a pregnancy.”
The Duma is considering a number of proposals that would stop Russia’s demographic death spiral, fueled by an abortion rate where 1022 infants are aborted for every 1000 who are born, according to some statistics. The United Nations estimates that the population of Russia, which stood at 143 million in 2008, will contract to 116 million by 2050.
Although the official annual count for abortion in 2007 was 1.5 million, some Russian officials believe the numbers are underreported, especially from private clinics, and could be as high as 6 million.
To combat the abortion epidemic, a host of legislation fixes has been proposed, including: banning free abortions at government-run health clinics; requiring prescriptions for the ‘morning-after’ pill; requiring parental consent for teenagers and a husband’s consent for married women, and mandating a one-week waiting period. Other proposals have included increasing the 2,000 ruble ($70) monthly government subsidy offered to pregnant women.
Pro-life legislation rolling back Russia’s abortion culture has been strongly championed by the 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.”
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