Russia to tighten abortion laws

RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 27 Oct 2020 by Alex Teddy

On October 27 Putin said that the government must do more to reduce the abortion rate. This is not primarily for moral reasons. Putin is worried about a declining population. Putin published a plan calling for medical and psychological support to persude women to continue their pregnancies. Prime Minister Mishustin is asking the presidents of the regions to develop strategies to lower the incidence of abortion.For decades abortion was uncontroversial in Russia. Almost every woman had had at least one abortion and it was the standard form of contraception. Since the 1990s that has changed. In 2019 Russia's population fell 20 000. In 2020 it is projected to fall 300 000+. Russia is facing its population halving in a century in the worst case scenario. Abortion has fallen 30% since 2025 so the government has already achieved some success. But the abortion rate is still among the world's highest.In Russia abortion is free of charge and unrestricted until the 12th week. Thereafter it is only permissible in cases of rape or fetal abnormality. The Orthodox Church has long lobbied for abortion to be limited. The Church is a close ally of the government.Poland recently ruled that abortion is unlawful in all but the rarest cases of severe fetal abnormality.

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