Russia parliament adopts law restricting abortions

October 22, 2011

(AP) -- Russia's parliament adopted a law Friday limiting abortions but rejected even tougher restrictions backed by the country's conservative Orthodox Church.

Health officials say Russia's abortion rates are among the world's highest, contributing to a of only 1.4 children per woman - far below the 2.1 needed to maintain the existing population. The country's has become a serious concern for Russia as it fights to stem a steep .

The says more than a million pregnancies are terminated in Russia annually, although abortion critics say the statistics don't include private clinics and the real number amounts to six million a year.

The law passed Friday limits abortions to 12 weeks of pregnancy, except for women who say they can't afford a child, who may have an abortion up to 22 weeks. The law also stipulates a mandatory waiting period of two to seven days before the procedure to allow a woman to reconsider her decision.

The law does not include restrictions proposed by the Russian Orthodox Church, such as a requiring a husband's consent for married women, parents' consent for or for a doctor's right to refuse an abortion.

During the Soviet era, were liberal and unrestricted abortions became virtually the only effective method of family planning, as condoms were unreliable and seldom used.

The abortion debate in Russia has not become as divisive and heated as the abortion debate in the United States, but the effort to restrict them has strong backing from the Russian Orthodox Church, which has sought a more muscular role in society.

Russia's population, now at 143 million, has shrunk by 5.7 million since the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union, a plunge blamed on rampant alcoholism, bad diets and lack of exercise.

Explore further: Pill helps boost abortions in Britain

shares

Related Stories

Pill helps boost abortions in Britain

May 29, 2006

Britain's independent abortion provider BPAS says the early medical abortion pill accounted for nearly a third of 32,000 pregnancy terminations last year.

Abortions up in England, Wales in 2006

June 19, 2007

The number of women having abortions in England and Wales was up almost 4 percent in 2006 from the previous year, the Health Department said Tuesday.

Report: Abortion laws don't stop abortions

October 13, 2007

An international study reported in the British journal Lancet said abortion laws do not necessarily influence a woman's decision to have an abortion.

British lawmakers in rare debate on abortion law

September 6, 2011

(AP) -- British lawmakers are reconsidering the country's approach to abortion, igniting a debate over whether clinics that are paid to carry out abortions should also be allowed to give advice to women unsure how to handle ...

UK legislators reject curb on abortion advice

September 7, 2011

(AP) -- Britain's House of Commons has rejected a proposal to bar abortion providers from counseling women about their decisions on whether to terminate their pregnancies.

Recommended for you

Bacteria in smokeless tobacco products may be a health concern

August 26, 2016

Several species of bacteria found in smokeless tobacco products have been associated with opportunistic infections, according to a paper published August 26 in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American ...

Is tailgating toxic?

August 26, 2016

While tailgating this football season you may want to take a step back from the grill and generator—for your health.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.