Russia Sees 64 Percent of Its Pregnancies End in Abortion, Experts Say

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 30, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Russia Sees 64 Percent of Its Pregnancies End in Abortion, Causing Infertility Issues

by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 30
, 2008

Moscow, Russia ( — Russia has long been a world leader in terms of the percentage of pregnancies that end in abortion and experts say those figures are still high. They say the abortion epidemic is leading to a problem of hundreds of thousands of women suffering from infertility.

Marina Tarasova is the deputy head of the St. Petersburg Research Institute For Gynecology and Obstetrics of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

On Monday, she spoke at an international conference and explained how the use of abortion as birth control among the Russian people has led to more than 5.5 million infertile couples.

She explained that, each year, more than 64 percent of pregnancies in Russia end in abortion — a contrast with the 20 percent that end in abortion in the United States and even fewer in most European nations.

Researcher showing abortion’s link to infertility is plentiful and the Russian statistics bear that out.

“Over the past five years, female infertility in Russia has increased by 14 percent, and over 1.5 million Russians need advanced medical technology to become pregnant and maintain a healthy pregnancy,” Tarasova said, according to the St. Petersburg, Russia newspaper.

The number of infertile women in Russia is growing by 200,000 to 250,000 each year — with the main cause complications from abortions, she said.

Abortions are currently free for all Russian women in state-run health clinics and some experts say introducing high costs for abortions will drive down the numbers.

Tarasova also explained that the high abortion figures are causing a severe demographic problem for the nation — with underpopulation causing worker shortages and problems for caring for the elderly.

Barry McLerran, producer of "Demographic Winter," has focused on this problem.

"Russia has one of the lowest birth rates in the world at 1.17 children per woman," he told last month. "A nation needs a birth rate of 2.1 just to replace current population."

"Because of its low birth rate and early deaths — due to disease and other factors — Russia is losing approximately 750,000 people a year," he explained.

Most demographers generally believe that Russia’s current population of 144 million will fall to 115 million by 2050. But Murray Feshbach, with the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, thinks Russia’s population will drop to 101 million and could go as low as 77 million by mid-point in this century.

Russia is trying desperately to bolster its sagging birth rate. For every child that a family has after the first, the Russian government pays parents the equivalent of $9,200.

There’s even a "National Day of Conception." None of it seems to be working.

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