Let me just say, I am not a fan of linking motherhood to patriotic duty. Women shouldn’t be having babies simply because the birth rate is down, but the situation in Russia does show, on a national scale, why abortion is not a solution.
Like a scene out of an old Charles Dickens novel, Russian women who are considering abortion might soon be able to leave their newborn children anonymously at the doorstep of special government funded wellness centers if a new bill passes the Russian parliament.
The bill was sponsored by the State Duma Committee for Family Affairs and the Russian Orthodox Church. Under the proposed law, a woman who decides to leave her child at a wellness and adoption home will be exempt from parenting and financial responsibilities. The centers will only be available for children under six months old.
According to data compiled by Ria Novosti newswire in Moscow, Russians have more abortions than their European counterparts. In 2008, 87 out of 10,000 women had abortions, surpassing Romania in second place with 59 out of 10,000 women and Britian, with 35 out of 10,000 women aborting pregnancies.
Russian law permits abortions up to the 12th week of pregnancy.
Russia’s abortion totals have come down between 2004 and 2008, at least, going from 1.7 million in 2004 to 1.2 million abortions in 2008. The number of abortions in Russia was almost equal to the number of babies born in 2008. According to the Russian Health Ministry, there were 1.7 million births in Russia in 2008 comparaed with 1.2 million abortions.
Experts say the low birth rate in Russia is reaching a critical point. It began to decline in 1992 as a result of poor medical services, social problems and high alcoholism, Ria Novosti reported. The government is working to reverse the trend.