Russia Survey Finds People Becoming Slightly More Pro-Life on Abortion

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 2, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Russia Survey Finds People Becoming Slightly More Pro-Life on Abortion Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 2
, 2008

Moscow, Russia ( — A new survey from a Russian sociological research center finds people becoming more pro-life on abortion — good news considering the prevalent attitude considering abortion a method of birth control. The poll found more Russian people are viewing abortion through a religious and moral perspective.

The Levada Center indicated that, since 1998, the number of people saying they take a moral approach to the issue of abortion has risen from 25 to 35 percent.

It found older Russians are most likely to view abortion as a sin against God with 51 percent of those aged 55 or older saying so.

Younger Russians are becoming more likely to take that view with 27 percent of those 18-27, 30 percent of people 25-39 and 40 percent of people 40-54 taking that view.

Yet, according to an AsiaNews report, the research center found 70 percent of Russians still support legalized abortion and the number of people favoring a law to prohibit abortions has fallen from 21 percent in 1998 to 16 percent now.

Meanwhile, the abortion situation in Russia is grim as the abortion figures have increased or remained the same in most parts of the country over the last 10 years.

That has prompted church officials and government authorities to try to reduce abortions.

The Orthodox Church has been more vocal about opposing abortion as the practice has created an underpopulation problem.

The Russian government and local governments have come up with interesting plans to try to increase the birth rate, including contests awarding money and appliances to the winners.

As recently as November, the Russian government’s health ministry approved an informed consent agreement that women having abortions are urged to sign.

The new agreement is similar to the Right to Know laws pro-life advocates in the United States have approved that require abortion practitioners to tell women of abortion’s risks.

The new informed consent document lists possible medical and mental health complications resulting from an abortion and women getting it would be told the fact that it is not necessarily a safe medical procedure.

Unlike American laws, abortion practitioners aren’t required to present the document but are urged to do so and to sign the consent form indicating they have presented the range of possible complications if they use it.

The Russian population has been shrinking since the 1990s as abortion became a means of birth control. The nation is the largest in the world but it has just 141.4 million citizens — less than half of the United States.

President Vladimir Putin, in May, defined the crisis as the nation’s biggest problem and the government is offering hefty bonuses to women who have a second child.