Russia moves to ban abortion in private clinic

20-12-2023

Eastern Europe

Lennart Nijenhuis, CNE.news

Abortion numbers have always been very high in Russia, although they have been dropping since 1990. Now, there is a plan to ban it in private clinics. Photo AFP, Alexey Sazonov

The Russian State Duma has a new draft on the table. The Parliament has to decide whether private clinics should be allowed to terminate pregnancies.

One of the regions in Russia took the initiative for the ban. The document in the database of the Duma is signed by Evgeniy Lyulin, the chairman of the Nizhny Novgorod region, Ria Novosti writes.

The bill is an amendment to Article 56 of Russian law concerning health matters. It proposes to add a paragraph that reads that "artificial termination of pregnancy is carried out in medical organisations of the state and the municipal health care system."

Earlier, deputies of the Nizhny Novgorod region explained to Ria Novosti that private clinics should not be allowed to perform abortions because they do not provide women with sufficient counselling before an abortion and also do not always comply with the rule that a woman has a consideration period of at least a week between the consultation and the actual abortion.

The Russian Orthodox Church has supported the draft, Ria Novosti writes. Priest Fyodor Lukyanov, chairman of the Commission for Family Affairs of the Church, hopes the amendment will be adopted in 2024. Lukyanov thanked the bill's initiators for their "real civil and patriotic position in the field of protecting traditional family values."

The priest also stresses that pregnant women should feel supported by society. Abortions, he argues, are bad for the moral and physical health of families and women. "According to the results of scientific research, the countries of Europe and Asia have the highest rates of breast cancer in countries with the highest number of abortions", he said.

Lukyanov is convinced that banning private clinics from performing abortions will make family support measures and measures to reduce the number of abortions more effective.

The bill is part of a campaign to boost Russia's demography. The Russian population is suffering a severe decline. Several regions in Russia have already taken measures to tighten the abortion legislation. Some of them have voiced support for fines for inducing abortion. Others have already forbidden abortions in private clinics.

In November, Russian President Vladimir Putin called the number of abortions in Russia acute. Russia traditionally has had a very high number of abortions. According to Putin, there are several ways to bring the number of abortions down. He spoke of banning the sale of abortion drugs, increasing the level of welfare in the country and helping young families.

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