MOSCOW/VLADIVOSTOK, April 12, 2005 ( -Â An English language news magazine from Moscow reports that up to one third of Russian abortions result in the death of the mother. The Russian government has been alarmed for some time at the impending demographic disaster created by the low birth rate. In addition, after decades of communism which endorsed abortion as a form of birth control, the physical and psychological after effects of so many millions of abortions have yet to be completely felt. Communist Soviet Union was the first nation in the world to legalize abortion in 1920.

Conservative estimates put the Russian abortion rate at 60% of all pregnancies, approximately a tenth of which are on girls under 18. Vladimir Kulakov, the deputy director of the Russian Women’s Health Center says that of some 38 million women of childbearing age, about 6 million are infertile, and medical authorities consider abortions a major cause of infertility.

Now a new study shows that the death rate of women seeking abortion is also uncommonly high. Abortion is a dangerous invasive procedure whether legalized or not, but with much of Russian medical facilities working with antiquated equipment, many more women are dying from abortion complications in Russia than elsewhere.

Kulakov told that of 3.5 million annual Russian pregnancies, only 1.5 million children are actually being born. Add to that the death rate of one woman in three and the number of women of child-bearing years who are capable of conceiving, Russia’s demographic disaster is promising to be worse even than the most sombre predictions. Kulakov said that as many as 15% of Russian couples are infertile and suggests a government funded programme of artificial insemination.

A small, new missionary society of Catholic priests and sisters who do pro-life and post-abortion work in Siberia write in their latest newsletter that the official statistics are very conservative. The group runs an orphanage, crisis pregnancy centre and post-abortion counseling service in Vladivostok and runs a number of social programmes for elderly people and youth.

The deliberate and calculated abolition of family values by communist government directives has resulted in massive rates of divorce, domestic violence, alcoholism, and skyrocketing rates of STD’s including HIV. In 1995, a report showed that almost half of all murder cases were a result of domestic violence and predicted that by the year 2000, 800,000 Russians could be infected with HIV.

Sister Julia Kubista of the Sisters in Jesus the Lord, wrote of a report on Russian television that said family values “had not been stressed in Russia for half a century and they lamented the outrageous divorce rates, sickening abortion rates the amounts of orphans, and the extent of drug use.” Sister Julia reported that some Russian women have had as many as 30 abortions.

Read previous coverage:

Russia Questions Widespread Abortion, Population Decline

Russia Population Decline Means Worker Shortage