Moscow, bans abortion ads that don't inform women of the risks
by Nina Achmatova
Move contained in a bill passed in the Duma. The government continues to fight the decline in population: over 1.5 million abortions every year.
Moscow (AsiaNews) - Concerned by the continuing population decline that afflicts the world's largest country, the Duma (the lower house of parliament) has approved a bill according to which, all advertisements relating to practices of abortion must contain warnings about possible risks to the health of women. The draft has passed its third reading last July 1 and now awaits the green light from the Federation Council (Senate) and then its signing - virtually taken for granted – by President Dmitry Medvedev, who has always championed the values of life and family.
According to Russian press reports, it is an amendment to the law on advertising, which states that 10% of the space used to advertise abortion should also inform women about the possible negative consequences such as infertility. "The advertising for abortion should not contain statements on the safety of these health services," reads the text of the bill, released by news agencies. "These ads - said Viktor Zvagelsky, deputy of the ruling party United Russia – lead the young people to believe they will have no problems interrupting a pregnancy”, and he motivates the proposal of the new law with the "depressing" situation of abortions in Russia.
The Federation has one of the highest abortion rates in the world and for time now, experts have been speaking of "a demographic coma”. According to figures published by the Duma website, in 2007, there were 1.5 million abortions. The Soviet Union was the first country to legalize abortion in 1920, banned again by Stalin (from 1936 until his death in 1954) interested in encouraging births. For the same purpose, the Communist Party also bestowed awards and money on the most prolific couples, but immediately after the collapse of the USSR the demographic decline has become unstoppable: from 1992 to 2008 the population fell by more than 12 million people to about 143 million. The United Nations estimates that by 2050, Russia will lose a fifth of its population, reaching 116 million. The phenomenon is due to a poor diet that causes heart problems, high rates of alcoholism among men, the spread of HIV / AIDS and the high number of violent deaths.
To combat what Moscow sees as a real war for survival, the government also supports the Orthodox Church which for years has asked for more stringent measures to reduce the number of abortions. According to data from the Russian Social University, the annual abortion rate is far higher than official figures, and in reality is around three to four million.