A pro-life movement in Russia

In Russia, the most commonly-used method of birth control is abortion.  It has the world’s highest abortion rate:  73 for every 100 births.  But now a pro-life movement has started up in Russia, led by the Orthodox Church, and the Russian parliament, faced not only with the church’s lobbying but with a population collapse,  is expected to pass a law imposing sharp restrictions (though not prohibition) of the practice:

Backed by the Russian Orthodox Church, an influential anti-abortion lobby is driving a moral crusade to tighten legislation and shift public attitudes that are largely a legacy of the Soviet era.

Adding to the debate is the Russian government’s effort to reverse a population decline caused by low birth rates combined with very high death rates. With Russians dying nearly twice as fast as they are born, the United Nations predicts that by 2050 its population will shrink by almost one fifth to 116 million.

Women’s rights groups voice outrage that the Church would play a role in shaping Russia’s secular laws and say abortion must remain a choice. They acknowledge the statistics point to a public health travesty but suggest the problem would be better resolved by sex education.

At the heart of the debate is an amendment to Russia’s law on health that is all but guaranteed to pass in the lower house after it was approved in a critical second of three readings on Oct. 21.

The law would cap abortions at 12 weeks, impose a waiting period of up to one week from initial consultations and require women over six weeks pregnant to see the embryo on ultrasound, hear its heartbeat and have counseling to determine how to proceed.

“Our two main motives are the fact that Russia is dying out and our religious tradition. We cannot forget our faith,” Yelena Mizulina, chair of the family issues committee that fielded the law, told Reuters. “Despite the long Communist period, it is seen as murder, as a violation of the Ten Commandments.”

via Orthodox Church-backed abortion bill sparks protest in Russia | FaithWorld.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Joe

    Putin’s youth organization for people ages 17-25 is also pro-life. At there large gatherings they encourage members to get married and start having “sex for the Motherland.” At there 2007 gathering they even provided a civil officiant and a bunch of tents arraigned in the shape of a heart so the newly weeds could get started right away. 35 couples married during the week long event.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-471324/Sex-motherland-Russian-youths-encouraged-procreate-camp.html

  • Joe

    Putin’s youth organization for people ages 17-25 is also pro-life. At there large gatherings they encourage members to get married and start having “sex for the Motherland.” At there 2007 gathering they even provided a civil officiant and a bunch of tents arraigned in the shape of a heart so the newly weeds could get started right away. 35 couples married during the week long event.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-471324/Sex-motherland-Russian-youths-encouraged-procreate-camp.html

  • steve

    Who was it that said that nothing happens by accident in politics? I don’t know of another place on earth where this is more true. Given that proposition, I don’t see morality and Christian ethics necessarily at play here.

  • steve

    Who was it that said that nothing happens by accident in politics? I don’t know of another place on earth where this is more true. Given that proposition, I don’t see morality and Christian ethics necessarily at play here.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Yet another modernist idea about human control over nature* comes crashing into reality. Turns out that messy, sticky, confusing Nature is often better at things than we all-too-natural humans are when it comes to configuring optimal settings. If that makes sense.

    Yes, even post-Communist Russia can be made to see that every life (eh, sort of) is sacred — or at least of economic value to the state.

    All of which brings to mind Sting’s song “Russians”, from 1985. It was, of course, about the then-common fear of a nuclear war between the US and the USSR, but it’s lyrics are oddly fitting:

    How can I save my little boy from Oppenheimer’s deadly toy
    There is no monopoly in common sense
    On either side of the political fence
    We share the same biology
    Regardless of ideology
    Believe me when I say to you
    I hope the Russians love their children too

    Just have to change Oppenheimer to some more appropriate name.

    *This is modernist, right? I’ve never really bothered to look into the discussions behind such sweeping labels.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Yet another modernist idea about human control over nature* comes crashing into reality. Turns out that messy, sticky, confusing Nature is often better at things than we all-too-natural humans are when it comes to configuring optimal settings. If that makes sense.

    Yes, even post-Communist Russia can be made to see that every life (eh, sort of) is sacred — or at least of economic value to the state.

    All of which brings to mind Sting’s song “Russians”, from 1985. It was, of course, about the then-common fear of a nuclear war between the US and the USSR, but it’s lyrics are oddly fitting:

    How can I save my little boy from Oppenheimer’s deadly toy
    There is no monopoly in common sense
    On either side of the political fence
    We share the same biology
    Regardless of ideology
    Believe me when I say to you
    I hope the Russians love their children too

    Just have to change Oppenheimer to some more appropriate name.

    *This is modernist, right? I’ve never really bothered to look into the discussions behind such sweeping labels.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X