MOSCOW, February 24, 2003 ( – Katya Esipova, 30, weeps over the bloody, medically-approved abortion she had at age 19 which left her infertile. Russian doctors told her it was perfectly normal even when she continued to bleed for a month, but in fact an infection crippled her fallopian tubes. At age 27, she and her husband did manage to conceive, but the fetus became lodged in one of the fallopian tubes and doctors aborted it by means of surgery.  “It is so terrible to wait every month and be disappointed,” she said. “I was too young. I did not realize how big a problem an abortion could be.”  Media are calling the early 1990s abortion a legacy of a Soviet communist health system that exalted abortion as the primary form of birth control. Now, according to Vladimir Serov, chief gynecologist at the Health Ministry, abortions are one of the primary causes of infertility. About 5 million—or 13%—of Russian married couples are infertile.  See Washington Post coverage:   For related coverage of Russia’s demographic crisis:  RUSSIAN ABORTIONS STILL OUTNUMBER BIRTHS 2-1   UN REPORT TO SHOW FERTILITY RATES WORLDWIDE TO DROP


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