Lawmakers in Russia Look to Impose Numerous Restrictions on Abortion


Some in Russia are concerned with the nation’s high abortion rate, which according to the United Nations was 53.7 abortions per 1,000 women in 2004 (in contrast, the United States had a 2004 abortion rate of 20.8 per 1,000 women).  Abortion was readily available during the days of the Soviet Union and some argue it was the only form of family planning in the nation. Despite big drops in abortion in recent years (in 2009, there were 74 abortions for every 100 births down from 169 abortions per 100 births in 2000), some are concerned that the rates are still too high and are contributing to the country’s dwindling population.

The solution some lawmakers have come up with is to introduce legislation that would drastically restrict abortions and impede women’s rights to control their own bodies.  The proposed law would ban free abortions at government-run clinics, prohibit the sale of the morning-after pill without a prescription, require married women to get the permission of their spouse, mandate parental consent for teenage girls, and institute a one week (yes, one week) waiting period so women can consider their decisions.   (Looks like they took a page—or several—right out of the U.S. anti-choice lobby’s playbook.)

Though the legislation also includes a facsimile of our Safe Haven laws—women would be allowed to drop off infants under six months in designated locations without fearing any criminal charges—it does not include any measures designed to lower the unintended pregnancy rate (such as increased access to contraception or family planning information) nor does provide any support to women who choose to carry a pregnancy to term. (Again, sound familiar?)

It is unclear whether the measure will pass. In 2010, a bill that would have imposed criminal charges on doctors who performed late-term abortions faced government opposition and was never even put up for a vote. At least one lawmaker, thinks radical restrictions on abortion will do more harm than good: “Natalya Karpovich, a lawmaker with the dominant pro-Kremlin party United Russia, who is expecting her fifth child, said she supported stricter regulation of abortions. But she said banning the procedure in Russia was unrealistic and would only lead to more children whose parents were unwilling or unable to care for them.”

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  • ito

  • ito

    I hope this doesn’t come across the wrong way. It’s very wordy. I never respond to articles written here. I only read them, and I really thought hard about this. I am thinking as I type it. I think sometimes we have to consider what is good for society. I mean, do we actually have a responsibility to have a certain size family for the good of the country. I guess if I have to go to work and stay off unemployment then it makes sense that maybe I should have more than 2 children (something I failed to do… and I sorely regret). Given the three tornados we had here, I was given a pause to think that maybe we can screw things up. (look at the environment. we ruined that pretty well.)

    I reviewed the CIA Factbook on the Russia and it indeed looks like they have a real situation on their hands. I am really trying hard to look at it from their perspective. It seems these are their challenges.

    1. Finding themselves and fixing their economy – I can see how it might be a bad thing if a countries population goes from 290 million in 1990 to 138 million in 2011. That’s just crazy. I know they lost a bunch of states but seriously for the largest country in the world that is crazy. I am starting to wonder if people are like forests. I watched the woods around my house disappear and now their gone. I thought they would always be there. I really tried hard to think about that. I think a lot of people act with total disregard for their neighbors a lot of the time. Like, I liked to look at the beautiful woods but now they are gone. I could only imagine how bad things really are if every other house or apartment is empty.

    2. Men and Women’s Equity – I read the part of the CIA thing that said there are 12 boys born for every 8 girls. That is not cool. If we’re going to talk birth-control, I think we need to discuss responsibility. I guess a good question to ask would be when is it okay to choose having a boy over a girl. I think we were better off when we didn’t have the technology to select the sex of our children. I know in the United States its becoming a problem but in chauvinistic countries like Russia I bet its epidemic.

    3. I hestitate to say this – I think we have opened a can of worms. I have talked with some Russians around Boston and Brookline. They tell me that the big problem is the civil war. One of the women at the bank said that people from the Middle East are moving in to replace Russians, and that because they don’t use family planning that it’s only a matter of time before their society is changed forever. From what I understand, Germany has the same problem. From what I understand the worry is that China and Russia and other countries are going to have so many jobless single men in the coming years and combine that with stacks of nuclear bombs they have in those countries something terrible is bound to happen.

  • prochoiceferret

    I guess if I have to go to work and stay off unemployment then it makes sense that maybe I should have more than 2 children

     

    I fail to see how people having kids for reasons other than that they want to have kids makes any kind of sense whatsoever. Are you seriously suggesting a return to “Close your eyes and think of England?”

     

    Given the three tornados we had here, I was given a pause to think that maybe we can screw things up. (look at the environment. we ruined that pretty well.)

     

    We’ve done a fine mess of populating this planet beyond its carrying capacity, too.

     

    1. Finding themselves and fixing their economy – I can see how it might be a bad thing if a countries population goes from 290 million in 1990 to 138 million in 2011. That’s just crazy. I know they lost a bunch of states but seriously for the largest country in the world that is crazy. I am starting to wonder if people are like forests. I watched the woods around my house disappear and now their gone. I thought they would always be there. I really tried hard to think about that. I think a lot of people act with total disregard for their neighbors a lot of the time. Like, I liked to look at the beautiful woods but now they are gone. I could only imagine how bad things really are if every other house or apartment is empty.

     

    Could you imagine how much worse things would be if there were a lot more people around, but no more jobs nor resources available for them?

     

    2. Men and Women’s Equity – I read the part of the CIA thing that said there are 12 boys born for every 8 girls. That is not cool. If we’re going to talk birth-control, I think we need to discuss responsibility. I guess a good question to ask would be when is it okay to choose having a boy over a girl. I think we were better off when we didn’t have the technology to select the sex of our children. I know in the United States its becoming a problem but in chauvinistic countries like Russia I bet its epidemic.

     

    Yes, patriarchal culture sucks! Perhaps we should do something about that?

     

    3. I hestitate to say this – I think we have opened a can of worms. I have talked with some Russians around Boston and Brookline. They tell me that the big problem is the civil war. One of the women at the bank said that people from the Middle East are moving in to replace Russians, and that because they don’t use family planning that it’s only a matter of time before their society is changed forever. From what I understand, Germany has the same problem. From what I understand the worry is that China and Russia and other countries are going to have so many jobless single men in the coming years and combine that with stacks of nuclear bombs they have in those countries something terrible is bound to happen.

     

    So what are the governments of China and Russia (and Germany) doing about it? Seems like this would be an issue of concern to them.

  • beenthere72

    Off topic, but since you brought it up, can I just say “PHEW!”?!?!    The path of those tornadoes, and tornado possible storm cells, were passing just south of my town all day long yesterday.   At one point last night, we did gather the whole family and our pets into the basement as something like storm cell #44 finally passed through my area.    My thoughts and prayers go out to everybody in Springfield and along the Route 20 corridor that was affected by those tornadoes. 

     

  • crowepps

    Considering the absolutely staggering rate of alcoholism in Russia, I don’t see how it’s going to be any great help to their ‘culture’ to produce a whole bunch of children with fetal alcohol syndrome, however White they look.

     

    People Not Like Us are reproducing!  Our women are failing in their duty to enlarge the tribe!  The culture will change!  Teh horror!  I’m sure the original inhabitants felt exactly the same way when the Rus showed up and reduced them from a free people to serfs.

     

    If OUR CULTURE is great, women will find it a safe place to be a mother and WANT to have children.  If OUR CULTURE stinks, women don’t feel safe and won’t voluntarily choose it as a place to raise their children.  Instead of trying to force women to have more children, fix the problems in the culture that convince women their children won’t have a decent future.  A solution the United States could usefully imitate.