Russia Demographic Crisis Created by Pro-Abortion Groups, Priest Says

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 16, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Russia Demographic Crisis Created by Pro-Abortion Groups, Priest Says Email this article
Printer friendly page

by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 16, 2006

Moscow, Russia ( — An Orthodox priest says he’s convinced that pro-abortion groups from other countries have profited from promoting abortion in Russia, which has become so embedded in Russian culture that it’s led to a severe demographic crisis.

Rev. Maxim Obukhov, the head of the Zhizn (Life) Orthodox medical and educational center, made the remarks in an interview with the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper.

He talked about the inordinately high number of healthy women who have abortions on healthy babies.

"The believing women who got a medical prescription for an abortion usually come to us, and we direct them to other medical doctors for examination," he explained.

"As a rule, healthy babies were born in 99 percent cases," Rev. Maxim said.

Answering a question from the Russian paper about who profits from abortions, Rev. Maxim said that there was a mechanism through which foreign pubic organizations control the demographic situation in our country to their own advantage.

According to official government figures, 70 percent of all pregnancies in Russia end in abortion.

About 1.6 million women had abortions last year, with 20 percent of them under the age of 18. Meanwhile, there were 1.5 million women giving birth in the nation.

Vladimir Kulakov, vice president of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences in Moscow, said the number of abortions was likely higher because "many more" abortions are never reported.

Kulakov said Russians opt for abortions in such high numbers because most Russian families can’t afford additional children and Russian teens and young adults without good jobs can’t pay for the cost of having kids.

"The appearance of a first child pushes many families into poverty,” Kulakov said today. "Potential parents first try to start a career, stand on their feet and so forth.”

On average, Russians had approximately 23 percent more abortions than women in the United States in 2004, even though the former communist nation is only half the size of the U.S. in terms of population.

Russian President Vladimir Putin called the nation’s low birth rate a "national problem” in his annual address last April.

That has resulted in problems with younger Russians unable to support older citizens. The number of Russians drawing a pension check outnumbered children and teenagers for the first time ever five years ago.