Russia forbids doctors to persuade parents to have an abortion


Eastern Europe


Pregnant women sit in a hallway at a perinatal centre in the town of Balashikha. Photo AFP, Dimitar Dilkoff

In Russia, the Ministry of Health issued a new abortion directive last week. From now on, doctors are prohibited from persuading parents to have an abortion or abandon their child in cases where disabilities are detected or suspected in the child in the womb.

The website Orthodox Christianity reports this based on Miloserdie.ru, an Orthodox portal about charity. The instructions are found in the methodological recommendations sent by the Ministry to the regional health authorities "to be strictly executed". The portal claims to have the text.

The document establishes the rules of communication between physicians and pregnant women, parents, legal representatives, and relatives of the child when disabilities are detected. Health workers may also no longer give a "subjective view" of the prospects for the child's life.

Terrible problem

Among the information that the attending physician is now obliged to provide is information on the possibilities of obtaining assistance and support measures, contacts of bodies and institutions of social protection of the population and early assistance services Miloserdie.ru writes.

In May, the Orthodox Patriarch Kirill urged women not to have abortions but to entrust their children to be raised by the Church if they cannot take care of them.

"The Church constantly testifies to a terrible problem – which I constantly talk about. It is the problem of abortion, the solution of which will raise the level of personal and public morality, the level of responsibility for children, and, undoubtedly, it will increase our population and its life expectancy. We are a big country, and we need more of us", the Patriarch then said.



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