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New regulations against abortions
November 16, 2007 11:35

The Russian Ministry of Public Health and Social Development has tightened abortion regulations, which is confirmed by a relevant order published in the end of October. According to the new regulations, a woman will have to sign a document confirming her awareness of all potential consequences abortion may incur. Besides, all female counseling centers must have a special person, whose duty is to describe the process in detail and talk a woman out of abortion.

The Ministry deleted 92 items from the list of medical conditions for therapeutic abortion. From now on doctors wont be able to recommend abortions, if some little trifling thing happens. Today the modern medical science can successfully treat various diseases, which earlier could cause serious health problems or endanger an embryo or a fetus.

The list of social conditions allowing a woman to have an abortion has been almost totally eliminated except incest and sexual assault.

Russian officials believe that these measures are capable of raising the birth rate in the country. Social workers in each female counseling centre can persuade a hesitating woman to leave her unborn baby, since women should feel how much happiness a child may bring into their lives.

However, Russian lawmakers are not satisfied with new regulations and are going to consider a bill, which will ban private diagnostic clinics from making abortions. In addition they plan to tighten punishments in the event of medical errors (80 000 ruble fines or US$3250) and medical malpractice, which led to fatal case (5-year imprisonment).

Obstetrician-gynecologists are confirmed the new bill will instigate growing number of criminal abortions, as women willing to get rid of fetus are often ready to go to any clinic, where they dont have to explain the true reasons for this step.

Russian lawmakers think that quality of medical services in private clinics is frequently very low, which can adversely affect the women fertility. Complications from abortion may surface sooner or later in 15% of all cases.

Russian women see the problem differently, many would prefer to have a baby, but they simply cant afford it, otherwise they often face the true reality of Russian life, when a single woman with a small baby cant find a stable job, while welfare payment they receive from the government cant cover all the expenses.

Another problem is teenage pregnancy: Russian schoolgirls seem to be so ingenuous that forget about contraception, or just too shy to ask their boyfriends to use condoms. Thus, lots of 14 or 15-year-olds rush into clinics to have an abortion. Russian teenagers are not sex-educated properly and suppose that all these horrible things can happen to anybody else but not to them.

Probably the deputies of the State Duma should first discuss why Russian women have abortions, why they cant give birth to those babies and what makes them go through a medical surgery. A woman should have a free choice. Always.


Olga Pletneva


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