Last week, in the first speech ever held in the Russian Duma (the Russian parliamentary assembly) by a Head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia pleaded for a campaign to fight abortion.
The first step would be dropping public subsidies for this procedure, with the long-term goal of a total ban nation-wide. “If we manage to reduce by half the abortion rate, we shall have a strong and stable population growth”, said Patriarch Kirill. “Taxpayer money should not pay for it”, added the high prelate.
The patriarch admitted there was need for a complex solution, including financial support for young families, introducing social residence facilities and strict ethical standards among medical doctors, encouraging their profession to show more interest in the life of “conceived children”.
His Beatitude also condemned surrogacy and encouraged adoption instead.
At the end of last year, a group of Russian Members of Parliament, social activists, medical experts and members of religious groups filed a petition asking for a change in the law with a view to ban abortion and abortive contraceptive use. They argued that, despite the fact that Russia had signed the UN Convention on the Rights of the Children in 1990, too little is being done to “protect the child before birth”.
Last year, Elena Mizulina, Vice-president of the State Duma, declared in a speech that abortion and surrogacy should not be tolerated, as they threaten to wipe out Russia’s population and the population in the whole world. Not all politicians share these views.
There are about one million abortions in Russia annually and only 10% for real medical reasons. The rest is abortion on demand.