Monday August 23, 2010

Russian Opinion Moving toward Ban on Abortion

By Thaddeus M. Baklinski

MOSCOW, August 23, 2010 ( – The number of Russians who support either a full or partial ban on abortion has doubled in the past twelve years, according to a recent poll.

The independent, non-governmental polling and sociological research agency, Levada Analytical Center, reported that a recent survey of 1,600 Russians found 41 percent of those polled support introducing nationwide restrictions on abortion.

The number of those in favor of a complete ban on abortions has grown from 8 percent in 1998 to 16 percent in 2010, the report said.

Another 25 percent only approved of therapeutic, non-elective abortions, up from 13 percent earlier.

Forty-eight percent disapprove of a ban, down from 59 percent, while 11 percent were undecided, compared with 20 percent earlier.

Current law in the Russian Federation allows abortion on demand up to 12 weeks gestation, up to 22 weeks for social reasons, and at any point during the pregnancy for “medical necessity” and upon the woman’s consent, and is offered free of charge at all state clinics.

Russian Health Ministry figures show 1.2 million abortions last year compared to 1.7 million live births, with upwards of a quarter million women per year left infertile from abortion complications.

A leader in the Russian Orthodox Church said in June this year that Russia must enact pro-life laws or face demographic collapse.

Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin told Interfax news agency, “In Soviet times we got used to abortion and we got used to considering it an unavoidable part of our legal reality and that there is no way to the turn back the page. But we see today that it is possible to turn back a great deal.”

Between 1992 and 2008, Russia’s population dropped by more than 12 million.

See related LSN reports:

Russia Must Introduce Laws to Slow Abortion: Russian Orthodox Cleric

Russian Abortion Killing and Sterilizing Millions; Demographic Collapse Likely to be Worse than Previously Predicted

Russia: 64% of Pregnancies End in Abortion

Russia’s First Pro-Life Maternity Ward A Stunning Success: Three More in the Works

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