Website accessibility
Show or hide the menu bar

How anti-contraception groups hijacked the Russian health service How anti-contraception groups hijacked the Russian health service

In Russia the Vatican-Orthodox alliance to boost population faces a problem in clamping down on contraceptives and abortions. The Russian health system still ensures access, and women regard this as their right. With few private clinics, the US activists’ strategy of legal harassment and intimidation won’t work. So a bottleneck had to be introduced into the state hospitals. “Abortion counselling” has been designed to make women feel like murderers.

Blessed by a belt of camel hair

Vladimir Putin managed to keep a straight face. The former head of the spy agency of the Russian communist regime even succeeded in looking vaguely reverential as he welcomed a delegation of 20 bearded, black-robed monks bearing a fertility charm. It was a belt said to have been woven out of camel hair by the Virgin Mary herself. The Greek Orthodox monks arrived at St. Petersburg airport on October 20th, 2011 bearing the sacred relic in a gold-and-silver filigree casket. They had journeyed from the holy island of Mount Athos where there was little scope for their relic’s gift of fertility. The monks ban women from their island and, to keep them from seeking substitutes, they also forbid all female animals larger than a chicken.

Father Ephraim, the superior of the Mount Athos Monastery said that he had refused every invitation to bring the relic to other countries, including the USA, but had made an exception for Holy Russia. [1] This was flattering for the Russian faithful, but the Greek police took a more sceptical view. They suspected that the abbot who accompanied the belt on its five-week tour of Russia was trying to escape from the law. [2] Shortly after Father Ephraim returned they arrested him on charges of money laundering and embezzlement in a land swap that is estimated to have cost the Greek state about €100 million. [3] After a protest from the Russian Orthodox Church, influential Russian politicians and the Russian Foreign Ministry, he was released from gaol. [4] But now Father Ephraim is facing renewed charges of fraud. [5]

However, none of this intruded into the religious enthusiasm accompanying the relic’s tour of Russia. A government website claimed that it “possesses an astonishing power and promotes fertility”. [6] The Virgin’s handiwork spread mystic potency to twelve Russian cities, where the faithful, mostly women, lined up for hours in the cold for the chance to kiss the casket that contained it. Or what they thought was the casket. In Samara, Russia’s sixth-largest city, the room in the cathedral was so dark that no one even saw the reliquary. [7]

Outside, the people stood in line for 12 hours until some fell from exhaustion. But of course, that was only for the poor. The Samara police set up a special line for representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church, businessmen and other members of the elite. In full riot gear, with visored helmets and batons, the police ushered the rich and powerful past the poor supplicants, who cried out in indignation. [8]

The relic finished up in Moscow, where the queue stretched for 4 kilometres, and some had to wait in the cold for up to 24 hours. [9] It left Russia just ten days before the December 4th elections. The tour’s sponsor, a close friend of Putin’s, said that the timing was purely coincidental. [10]

“The czar’s 1917 overthrow was for many Orthodox faithful the last time that a man anointed by God governed Russia.” [11] Vladimir Putin, the former Communist functionary, seems to be trying to ease himself into the Romanov role. The re-election of the Prime Minister was openly endorsed by the Orthodox Church. Patriarch Kirill called Putin’s rule a “miracle of God” and criticised his opponents. [12] And the favours went both ways. It was noted that during Putin’s election campaign, a number of decisions were made that were beneficial to the church, including on real estate and backing for religious schools. This was also when Patriarch Kirill was granted official residence at the Kremlin, a move that restored what the church lost in the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. [13]

However, the nation-wide tour of the fertility relic was more than an election stunt. It was one of many emotional appeals that the Russian state has been making in its effort to halt the country’s declining population. Among these are the “mom monuments” set up in public areas. An online image search for “памятник маме” turns up dozens of artistically appalling propaganda pieces. The muscular women of Soviet-era statues have been replaced by pregnant ones, but women’s role remains the same: they are production workers for the state. And, in case the message has somehow been missed, it can even be found on T-shirts, though this warm-weather American garment sometimes has to worn with a fur-lined Russian hat. This one says, “Mummy, don’t have an abortion!” [14]

Vodka decimates the Russians

The campaign to get women to reproduce has been prompted by the demographic slump since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1992. This led to a fall in living standards and increased uncertainty, which discouraged people from having children. Despite this, Russia’s birth rate is still somewhat higher than that of Western Europe.

The difference is in the even the higher death rate. Alcohol abuse has led to death rates among working-age Russians as high as in a war zone. [15] Professor Alexander Nemstov, a leading specialist in this area, says that Russian men and women drink the equivalent of a bottle of vodka per week. [16] (Women will average less than that, men, considerably more.) A large international study reported in The Lancet concluded that the early deaths of Russian adults are due largely to vodka, which kills them not only through accidents, suicide and violence, but also through eight different groups of diseases. [17]

The way to reduce the carnage is clear and it has even been successfully tested. In 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev, the last General Secretary of the Soviet Union, simply closed most wineries, vodka distilleries and liquor stores. [18] Overall consumption decreased by a third in two years, and total Russian mortality rates fell by 12%. It is estimated that between 1986 to 1991 Gorbachov’s measures spared the lives of 1.22 million Russians. [19] in addition, the birth rate rose, life expectancy increased, wives started seeing their husbands more, and work productivity improved. [20] However, in 1992, with the end of the Soviet Union, the state’s monopoly over alcohol was repealed, alcohol became freely available again and consumption rebounded.

The solution to Russia’s demographic katastroika was as clear to Prime Minister Putin as it had been to Gorbachev. In 2006 he devoted a quarter of his annual address to the nation to what he called “the most acute problem facing our country today”. The solutions he advanced before the public sounded eminently reasonable: “First, we need to lower the death rate. Second, we need an effective migration policy. And third, we need to increase the birth rate”.

To cut the death rate Putin advocated clamping down on the often fatal bootleg alcohol, an estimated third of the vodka on offer. However, he didn’t even mention the flood of legal alcohol from which the state receives tax revenues. His belated measures to restrict access and raise the tax on beer and vodka only began in 2013 and have been mild in comparison with Gorbachev’s. [21]

The Prime Minister’s second recommendation for boosting population was to encourage “skilled migration”, which experts believe is the only quick way to at least mitigate the problem. However, apart from citizens of former Soviet states, few seem interested in migrating to Russia, and the country is facing a large “brain drain”. [22]

Finally, to boost the birth rate, Putin proposed tackling the reasons for womens’ reluctance to bear more children: “They include low incomes, inadequate housing conditions, doubts as to their own ability to ensure the child a decent level of healthcare and education, and — let’s be honest — sometimes doubts as to whether they will even be able to feed the child.” He did not mention that often the poverty of women was due to their husbands drinking themselves to an early death.

He then outlined a long list of specific measures to improve the security of women so that they felt able to have more children. But then he added that this would cost “an immense amount of money”. [23]

“The Sanctity of Motherhood”

In his speech Putin did not mention the coercive methods of increasing the population that were already underway. In 1992, right after the dissolution of the USSR, anti-abortion groups inside and outside Russia made their first attempt to join forces. [24] The new movement soon gathered steam and a decade later gained a powerful ally. This was Vladimir Yakunin, a long-time Putin supporter who heads the national railway. Wherever Yakunin goes by train the station’s employees line up on the platform, stand at attention and salute him. [25] It was this railway tsar who sponsored the tour of the Virgin’s belt right before his friend’s re-election.

In 2001 Yakunin’s “Foundation of St. Andrew the First-Called” established the first Centre of National Glory, whose mission is “saving the cultural and spiritual foundations” of Russia. [26] Its programme to boost the population is called the “Sanctity of Motherhood” (Святость материнства), a clear reference to the Virgin Mary. [27] Naturally this programme received the blessing of His Holiness, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia. [28] Its programme was also lauded by the international pro-life movement after it organised an international conference in a bid to win allies in the face of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. [29] 

The “Sanctity of Motherhood” programme, despite its nationalistic and religious overtones, uses the latest international techniques. [30] Although the United States is still often viewed in Russia as “decadent”, the slick American anti-abortion movement has become a model for Russian activists. From the beginning the Americans advised their Russian counterparts always to refer to a foetus as a child, and to abortion as murder. [31] Russian activists have imported plastic “foetal models” from the US and even adopted the English-language term “pro-life”. [32] They have also welcomed another American innovation, “crisis pregnancy centres” (or “pregnancy resource centres”), which have demonstrated the effectiveness of partisan “abortion counselling.” In the US these centres often try to lure women by looking like clinics. Once inside the already stressed women are bombarded with images of aborted foetuses, shocking videos, religious propaganda and false information about the risks of abortion. [33]

“Counselling” to make a woman feel like a murderer

Between 2008 to 2011 the directives of the Russian Ministry of Health began to show the influence of the anti-abortion movement. [34] No longer was there any mention of the need to increase access to reliable contraception, even though it is the inability to afford modern methods which forces many Russian women to rely on multiple abortions. Also gone were promises to improve the procedure itself and replace what prominent Russian specialist Prof. Vasily V. Vlasov has called “prehistoric techniques”. [35] The World Health Organisation has urged Russia to adopt simpler and safer methods of abortion. [36]

Instead of tackling these health issues, the Ministry of Health began to talk of introducing “abortion counselling”. This was a cheap intervention which could erect an effective hurdle to abortion within the Russian health system. For in Russia most women use state hospitals where the abortion services are largely free. [37] It is harder to target large Russian state hospitals than the independent family-planning clinics of the US, which can be shut down through bureaucratic harassment or physical intimidation. In Russia private clinics are only for the few who can pay and they are in no danger of being closed. Just as the elite didn’t need to wait in the cold to kiss the relic, they also don’t need to get a doctor’s permission for an abortion at a private clinic. The Russian elite live in a different world. “Whatever laws it passes, whatever values it espouses, whatever standards it sets for the population, the elite do not intend to live by the same rules — or, really, by any rules at all.” [38]

It was clear that the best way to begin clamping down on abortions in Russia was to make the free state service more difficult for the already distressed women to access. (This incremental approach has worked well in the US. [39]) And this is what the railway tsar’s Centre of National Glory proceeded to do. In 2007 it began mandatory abortion counselling in Krasnoyarsk, an industrial city in Siberia. [40] This pilot program worked with doctors and journalists to shift public opinion and women’s choice away from abortion. [41] It then used this experience to develop guidelines. [42] Two years later it issued manual on manipulation called “Psychological guidelines for abortion counselling”. As Vlasov pointed out, the guide admits that the psychologist’s main aim should be to make the woman feel guilty of murder. As he also noted, this is a betrayal of medical ethics. [43]

The Centre of National Glory was the first anti-abortion group to enter an agreement with the Russian Ministry of Health to carry out abortion counselling. After that, in various regions of that huge land, other groups have followed. [44] This introduces a bottleneck into the delivery of state abortion services. It makes private groups of religious zealots into gatekeepers for a medical service offered by the state. A Moscow priest, the Rev. Dmitri Smirnov, said that women considering abortion should be advised “not to be worse than Himmler and Goebbels, who didn’t kill their own children” and that women who go ahead with abortions should be jailed for murder. [45]

Polls have found an upsurge in religious identification since the fall of Communism, with 72 per cent now calling themselves Orthodox Christians, (though only 56 per cent believe in God, and just 7 per cent claim to attend church even once a month). [46] Speaking for the nation, the Russian Orthodox Church has taken an increasingly active role in the anti-abortion movement, as in other areas of Russian life. An historian who has studied Russian church-state relations, said the Russian Orthodox Church has modelled itself on the authoritarian structure of Putin's Kremlin — and yet was gaining legitimacy as the Kremlin lost ground. [47]

The political influence of the Church has also been increased by the accession of a very able new Patriarch. When Alexy II, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, died suddenly at the end of 2008, he was succeeded by Kirill I who, as foreign minister of the Russian Orthodox Church, had dealt closely with the Vatican. We will never know what understandings were reached behind closed doors, but in 2010 the Vatican took the remarkable step of publishing a book by a religious rival, none other than the newly elected Patriarch Kirill. [48] The next year a spokesman for Kirill called for a “strategic alliance” between his church and the other conservative religions that had already joined the Catholic “pro-life” campaign. [49]

Putin’s three-year plan to boost baby production

At the beginning of 2011 the Russian Orthodox Church published its wide-ranging recommendations to try to stop abortions in Russia. [50] A few months later Putin incorporated many of these in his speech to the Duma, announcing a three-year plan to boost fertility by 30 per cent. [51] The following month, when a bill was introduced to cut abortions, a Russian Orthodox spokesman said “I hope that very soon we will live in a Russia without abortions.” [52]

At the end of the Soviet period, Russia had one of the most liberal policies on abortion in the world. Now, however, the law is being tightened bit by bit. The first substantial restrictions on abortion in Russia were not introduced until 2003, when late-term abortions for non-medical social reasons such as poor housing and poverty were banned. [53] Since then the progress in limiting access to abortion has proceeded steadily. Beginning in the summer of 2011 a raft of population-boosting bills was passed by the Duma. Russian Orthodox priests and other church representatives filled the committee that drafted them. [54]

The first of these, passed on July 1st, was devoted to spreading abortion myths. [55] This law made it illegal to describe abortion as a safe medical procedure, even though this is false. The risk of dying from the complications of abortion in early pregnancy is more than 10 times lower than from problems later in pregnancy or childbirth. [56] The law also obliged advertisements for abortion services to devote at least 10 per cent of the area to other claims: “warnings of the possibility of infertility and other harmful consequences for a woman’s health”. [57] Two years later, the government, continuing its policy of creeping restrictions, banned all advertising of abortion services outright. [58]

Of course, if the Russian state really wanted to reduce the risk of infertility, it would introduce safe modern methods of abortion and, above all, provide access to reliable the contraception which would reduce the need for them.

Abortion claimed to depopulate Russia and lead to human extinction

The next round of reproductive restrictions began after the summer recess. The bill obliged women to look at an ultrasound picture of the foetus, listen to its heartbeat and attend “abortion counselling”. [59] If the woman still insists on going ahead, she must sign a statement accepting the potential “negative consequences” of the procedure. [60] Then she must wait 2-7 days after visiting a doctor before having an abortion. [61] The law also introduced the possibility of conscientious objection in performing abortions. [62]

To facilitate the clampdown on abortions, Patriarch Kirill advised the government to put a crisis pregnancy centre in every hospital. [63] The Health Ministry then said it supported the establishment of these centres. [64]

In February 2012 the incremental abortion restrictions resumed, when the Ministry of Health defunded abortions on social grounds unless the woman has been raped. No longer can she get an abortion at a free government clinic if she has been ruled by the court to be an unfit parent, if she is in gaol or if she is left without support because her partner has become disabled or dies. This denies abortions to many poor women who seek them due to poverty. [65]

Even stricter rules — eliminating state support for all abortions, banning over-the-counter sales of the morning-after pill and requiring young women under 18 to get the consent of their parents and married women to get permission from their husbands — were left out of the autumn 2011 law after polls showed them to be unpopular. [66] At the end of 2011 another bill was proposed in the Duma calling for the criminal prosecution of doctors who end late-term pregnancies, but it faced government opposition and was quietly withdrawn, as well. [67] However, the current campaign against abortion appears to be meant to erode the remaining resistance and make it possible to bring in these measures later.

In 2013 the head of the State Duma committee for family and children, Elena Mizulina claimed that abortions and surrogacy threatened to wipe out the population in Russia, and the world as a whole. [68] This is the committee that is presently drawing up an ambitious plan for increasing reproduction called “Concept of State Policy on the Family”.

The committee proposes turning the urban Russian family — which often contains only one parent or only one child — into a robust traditional nuclear family with two parents and three or more children. To this end, the committee proposed taxing divorce, severely restricting abortion, involving the Russian Orthodox Church in policing family affairs and, of course, doing away with homosexuality. [69]

This last is to be achieved through gay-conversion therapy, and a prominent MP says that the Duma is working on a bill to allow this. [70] For it’s not just about women. Russian gays are also victims of the population drive. The Russian Orthodox Church has adopted the Vatican doctrine that the aim of sex is to procreate and that gays are defective because they have psychological problems that keep them from doing  this. [71] And gays are accused not only of being defective, but also of wanting to spread a dangerous ideology. According to Patriarch Kirill, the legalisation of gay marriage is a sign of "the coming of the Apocalypse." [72] This would cause “the destruction of civilisation”. [73] In order to save Russia, a bill was passed in 2013 to ban gay “propaganda”. [74] Gays have even been accused by some MPs of decreasing Russia’s birth rates — although no one seems to criticise the celibacy of Orthodox monks and nuns. [75]

What does the 2013 anti-gay law mean on the ground? The year after it was passed a Russian who fled the country to keep her son from being taken from her, in accordance with the new law, has summed up its effects so far:

It bans propaganda, which is defined as the distribution of information that can cause harm to the physical or spiritual development of children, including forming in them the erroneous impression of social equality of traditional and nontraditional sexual relations. So basically, it’s a law that enshrines second-class citizenship [...] It’s led to a huge increase in antigay violence, including murders. [...] The state has already said it’s going to create a mechanism for removing children from same-sex families. And that legislation hasn’t been passed yet, but the courts have already started to implement it even though it hasn’t passed. [76]

These new policies on women and gays turn out to be not that new, after all. Russia has been here before. In 1933 Stalin made male homosexuality a crime punishable by up to five years in prison with hard labour. Three years later he banned abortion. This was to stimulate the production of workers, just as he set targets for the production of other goods. His widely resented decree was dropped after his death.

Harnessing angels

Putin now appears to be trying to re-instate Stalin’s abortion ban, but in a gradual manner that does not provoke as much opposition. He is using a state-supported youth group to instil his anti-abortion message, just as Stalin did, and he is even extending this to contraception.

The 100,000-strong youth group called Nashi, which means “Ours Together”, has been nicknamed the “Putin Youth”. [77] It was founded in 2005 by a Putin supporter in order to create a conservative, nationalistic youth culture and help prevent young people from joining the opposition, as they did in the Orange Revolution in the Ukraine. Putin’s group bears more than a passing resemblance to the youth wing of the Communist Party, the Komsomol, which was used to mould future citizens in the Soviet era. The Putin Youth even tote the same little red books to record their participation in rallies and lectures. And, as with Komsomol, Nashi members are favoured. They get free places at top universities and after that can expect good jobs in government and state corporations. [78]

As well as scorn for democracy, this future Russian elite, is being taught that contraception is unpatriotic, and members of Nashi have been sent out to demonstrate against it. [79] They also practice what they preach. Mass weddings take place at its camps, with the newly-weds then moved into tents arranged in a heart-shape, called the Love Oasis, to engage in unprotected sex for the motherland. [80]

Telling teenage boys to skip condoms is an easy sell. It is Russian women who will have to pay the price for this training in sexual selfishness. Putin’s agenda here mirrors that of the Pope and they are now in direct contact with each other. Since the establishment of full-scale diplomatic relations in December 2009 the Russian head of state has visited the Vatican three times. [81]

Prime Minister Putin, however, has options not available to the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Russia is no longer officially atheist. Putin can call on Orthodox monks to bring along their wonder-working belt of camel hair — he can rely on religious anti-contraception groups to counsel pregnant women — and he can always count on head of the Russian Orthodox Church. At the beginning of 2015 Patriarch Kirill made his first-ever speech before the Duma to urge MPs to begin a campaign against abortions, starting with canceling state sponsorship for the procedure and aiming at a total nationwide ban. [82]

Letting religious zealots tell distressed women that they are contemplating murder is a quick, cheap way to boost the birth rate. It costs far less than providing women with the security they need to make a rational decision to raise a child. A directive from the Ministry of Health gives the game away. It claims that 15 to 20 per cent of the women can be pressured into giving birth, “a figure that is impossible to achieve through a public campaign to have another child or financial incentives — especially in such a short period of time.” [83]

Religion can also be used to flatter women and sugar-coat the increasing restrictions on their reproductive rights. The logo of the “sanctity of motherhood” says it all. The Russian mother has sprouted the wings of an angel at the same time as she is losing the reproductive rights of a human being. After all, angels don’t need rights.

“If he beats you, it means he loves you”

Then in 2017 Putin found another ally in his bid to disempower women: brutal husbands. In line with the Russian proverb from Czarist times that equates beating with love, the Duma reduced punishment for domestic abuse to preserve “traditional family culture”. [84] This used to carry a maximum jail sentence of two years. However, now it is only punishable by 15 days in prison or a fine, so long as the women and children are only left with bruising or bleeding but not broken bones, and so long as this only happens once a year. Even the new option of letting wifebeaters avoid prison altogether by paying a fine has weakened the position of their victims. It's been reported that the man will often ask the woman to pay because he thinks she was wrong to complain or because he doesn’t have enough money. And this, in turn, further discourages abused women from seeking help from the police. [85]

This reduction in state protection for abused women and children has been cheered by the Russian Orthodox Church. The head of the Patriarchy’s commission on family matters called the idea the state should be able to poke its nose into family affairs a western imposition on Russia. [86]

Then, to quell the opposition before the 2018 elections, Putin again imported a sacred relic. Six years after the Virgin Mary's belt of camel hair bolstered Putin's popularity, the Vatican sent along a four-inch piece of the rib of Saint Nicholas — and he was duly photographed kissing another golden reliquary. [87]


The Russian law on health care («Об основах охраны здоровья граждан в Российской Федерации») passed by the Duma on 21 October 2011 and signed by President Medvedev on 22 November can be found in Russian at

1. “Cincture of the Holy Virgin delivered to Russia from Athos monastery”, Russian Orthodox Church, 2011-10-21

2. “ROC welcomes the abolition of the sentence abbot Ephraim”,
This is a somewhat mysterious site with a connection to Russia that doesn’t date its stories, but they do seem to be substantiated by other sites. An attempt to check this article in 2017 was aborted by a warning from our virus protection that this site was unsafe.

3. “Former Greek defence minister jailed for 20 years for corruption”, Financial Times, 2013-10-07

4. “ROC welcomes the abolition of the sentence abbot Ephraim”

5. “Former Greek defence minister jailed for 20 years for corruption”, Financial Times, 2013-10-07

6. “Russie-Grèce-religion-démographie”, AFP, 2011-10-20

7. “В Самару приехал Пояс Пресвятой Богородицы”,, 2011-11-10

8. “У православного храма в Самаре возникла давка”, Lenta.RU, 2011-11-12

9. “In Russian Chill, Waiting Hours for Touch of the Holy”, New York Times, 2011-11-23

“Greek Abbot Jailed Over Land Swap Scandal”, Associated Press, 2011-12-28

10. “Virgin Mary’s Belt Arrives in Moscow Before Election”, Reuters, 2011-11-19

11. Putin Strives to Harness Energy of Russian Pilgrims for Political Profit, New York Times, 2014-08-02

12. Gleb Bryanski, “Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill calls Putin era a ‘miracle of God’”, Reuters, 2012-02-09

13. “In Putin’s Russia, little separation between church and state”, Washington Times, 2012-08-13

14. “Мама, не делаи аборт!”

15. Nicholas Eberstadt, “Drunken Nation: Russia’s Depopulation Bomb”, World Affairs, Spring 2009.

16. AV Nemtsov, “Alcohol-related human losses in Russia in the 1980s and 1990s”, Addiction, 2002 Nov;97(11):1413-25.

17. “Alcohol and mortality in Russia: prospective observational study of 151 000 adults”, The Lancet, 2014-01-31

18. “Anti-alcohol campaign produces winners and losers”, Russia Beyond the Headlines, 2011-08-18

19. Nicholas Eberstadt, “Drunken Nation: Russia’s Depopulation Bomb”

20. Stan Fedun, “How Alcohol Conquered Russia”, Atlantic Monthly, 2013-09-25

21. “Government campaign targets alcohol abuse”, Russia Beyond The Headlines, 2013-04-06

“Anti-alcohol campaign produces winners and losers”, Russia Beyond the Headlines, 2011-08-18

22. Irina Ivakhnyuk, “Brain Drain from Russia: in Search for a Solution”, Center for International Relations, 2006, p. 8.

23. Vladimir Putin, “Annual Address to the Federal Assembly”, Marble Hall, the Kremlin, Moscow, 2006-05-10

24. “Russians and Americans Join in Anti-Abortion Fight”, New York Times, 1994-05-19

25. “The Russia Left Behind”, New York Times, 2013-10-13

26. “History”, National Glory of Russia.

27. (National demographic program, Sanctity of Motherhood)

28. “Moscow to host the forum ‘Sanctity of Motherhood’”, Pravda, 2010-11-25

29. Conference promoting large families in Russia amazes Westerners, Life Site News, 2014-09-14

30. “Moscow to host the forum ‘Sanctity of Motherhood’”

31. “Russians and Americans Join in Anti-Abortion Fight”, New York Times, 1994-05-19

32. Heritage House (a US supplier of anti-abortion products)

“Russians Adopt U.S. Tactics in Opposing Abortion”, New York Times, 2011-06-09

33. “Christian ‘Pregnancy Crisis Centers’ Masquerading as Health Clinics Tell Women Abortion Causes Cancer and Infertility -- And You’re Helping Pay for Them”, Alter Net, 2010-05-28

34. “Тревога: ещё раз о плохом законопроекте”, цастный корреспондент (Tsastny Correspondent), 2011-08-29

35. Prof. Vasily V. Vlasov:

“Госдума занялась абортами: эксперты опасаются роста материнской смертности и коррупции”Deutsche Welle, 2011-09-06

36. “От кюретки до таблетки. Артифициальный аборт: российские реалии”, Status Praesens. Акушеру гинекологу — врачу и человеку. — № 1(4), February 2011

37. “Termination of Pregnancy and Abortion in Russia”, AngloInfo Russia, [no date]

38. Masha Gessen, “Divorce and the Duma”, New York Times, 2013-06-10

39. “Real Goal of Abortion ‘Limits’: Bans”, New York Times editorial, 2014-05-10

40. “Психологическое доабортное консультирование Методические рекомендации”, Centre for National Glory, 2009

41. “Russians Adopt U.S. Tactics in Opposing Abortion”, New York Times, 2011-06-09

42. “Центр общественных инициатив. Учебно-методический центр психологического доабортного консультирования”, Centre for Public Initiatives, Teaching Centre for psychological abortion counselling.

43. “Госдума занялась абортами: эксперты опасаются роста материнской смертности и коррупции”, Deutsche Welle, 2011-09-06

44. For the Murmansk region, see

45. “Russians Adopt U.S. Tactics in Opposing Abortion”, New York Times, 2011-06-09

46. “Russians Return to Religion, But Not to Church”, Pew Forum, 2014-02-10

47. “Disputed Voting Turns Church, a Kremlin Ally, Into Its Critic”, New York Times, 2011-12-29

48. “Vatican Publishes Book by Patriarch Kirill: Marks Growth in Catholic, Russian Orthodox Relations”, Zenit, 2010-05-14

49. “Orthodox Leader Calls for Alliance With Catholics”, Zenit, 2011-03-01

50. “Предложения по совершенствованию национальной политики в сфере заботы о семье и детстве” (“Proposals to improve the national policy to care for the family and childhood”), русская православная церковь (Russian Orthodox Church), 2011-01-16

As an alternative to abortion the Patriarchate suggests that the state pay for a network of orphanages  —  to be effectively put under the control of “recognised religions”. (Assistance to children without parental care, #1.)

51. Tom Parfitt, “Vladimir Putin pledges to spend £32bn on increasing Russian life expectancy”, The Guardian, 2011-04-21

Steven Ertelt, “Russian Duma Drafts Bill to Cut Abortions Citing Underpopulation”, Life Site News, 25 April 2011.

52. “Russia’s church, lawmakers want to limit abortion”, Associated Press, 2011-05-30

“РПЦ получила в распоряжение Патриаршие палаты Кремля”, Polit.Ru News, 2011-11-21

53. Tom Parfitt, “Russia set to tighten restrictions on abortion”, The Lancet, Volume 378, Issue 9799, Page 1288, 2011-10-08

54. “Feature: Church-backed abortion bill sparks protest in Russia”, Reuters, 2011-11-08

“Кто стоит за атакой на женщин в Думе?” (Who is behind the attack on women in the Duma?) Campaign “Fight abortion, not women”

55. “Abortion Myths”, National Abortion Federation

“Abortion: the Myths”, Royal Women’s Hospital, Victoria, Australia, 2006

56. Figures for the US, which has modern abortion methods, indicate that this is 14 times safer than giving birth, hence the conservative claim in the text.
“Abortion safer than giving birth: study”, Reuters, 2012-01-23

57. “Russia: Abortion Restrictions Signed”, New York Times, 2011-07-15

The old provisions can be found in § 11 of Article 24: “Advertising medicines, medical equipment, medical devices and medical services, including treatment”

The new, more restrictive version changes this Article and was signed into law by President Medvedev on 2011-07-11:


58. “Russia outlaws abortion ads”, RT, 2013-11-25

59. Tom Parfitt, “Russia set to tighten restrictions on abortion”, The Lancet, Volume 378, Issue 9799, Page 1288, 2011-10-08

60. Tom Parfitt, “Russia set to tighten restrictions on abortion”

61. “Medvedev signed a new law on Health Care”, European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development, 2011-11-29

62. “Medvedev signed a new law on Health Care”

63. Thaddeus Baklinski, “Put a crisis pregnancy center in every hospital says Head of Russian Orthodox Church”, Life Site News, 2011-01-21

64. “Russia seeks to further decrease abortion rates”, Russia Beyond the Headlines, 2014-01-28 

65. “Health Ministry Tightens Laws on Abortion”, RIA Novosti, 2012-02-14

66. “Feature: Church-backed abortion bill sparks protest in Russia”, Reuters, 2011-11-08

67. “Abortions, surrogacy lead to human extinction – senior MP”, RT, 2013-11-12

68. Mansur Mirovalev, “Russia’s church, lawmakers want to limit abortion”, Associated Press, 2011-05-30

69. Masha Gessen, “Divorce and the Duma”, New York Times, 2013-06-10

70. “Russia may bring back gay blood donor ban”, Russia Today, 2013-08-26

71. “Spanish Cardinal-elect: ‘not an insult’ to call homosexuality a psychological disorder”, Life Site News, 2014-01-21

72. “Same-Sex Marriage Apocalyptic, Patriarch Says”, Moscow Times, 2013-07-22

73. “Patriarch Kirill: Violation of God's Laws is Destroying Human Civilization”, Zenit, 2014-02-10

74. “Russia Passes Bill Banning Gay ‘Propaganda’”, Wall Street Journal, 2013-06-12

75. “Russia moves to enact anti-gay law nationwide”, Associated Press, 2013-01-21

76. “Russian Author and Activist Masha Gessen Answers 5 Questions”, ABC News, 2014-01-19

77. Charlie Gillis, “Putin the Terrible”, Macleans, 2007-08-03

78. “Kremlin Backs Youth Politics With Reformed Nashi”, Moscow Times, 2013-02-12 

79. “Abortion Remains Top Birth-Control Option In Russia”, Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty, 2008-06-28 

80. Edward Lucas, “Sex for the motherland: Russian youths encouraged to procreate at camp”, Daily Mail, 2007-07-29 

81. “Moscow Patriarchate hopes Putin’s Vatican visit will make Orthodox-Catholic ties stronger”, Interfax, 2013-11-22

82. “Patriarch seeks abortion ban in Russia in parliament speech”, RT, 2015-01-22

83. “Ударим невежеством по абортам”, Частный Корреспондент (Private Correspondent), 2011-09-12

84. “Domestic abuse should not be a crime, say Russian MPs”, Times, 2017-01-13

85. “Russian victims of domestic abuse forced to pay perpetrator’s fine”, Guardian, 2017-12-19

86. “Putin approves legal change that decriminalises domestic violence”, Guardian, 2017-02-07

87. “Putin seeks religious help to quell Russian dissent”, The Times, 2017-05-29




Go to Notanant menuWebsite accessibility

Access level: public

This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site you agree to our use of cookies: OK