Arhive zilnice: iunie 7, 2011

Russia rescued from abortions

[Tactica noua in Rusia, pe model „european”, in ceea ce priveste avortul: acesta nu va fi interzis, ci mamele vor fi stimulate (sentimental si financiar) ca sa-l refuze! Un Proiect de Lege, care are sustinerea Bisericii Ortodoxe Ruse, ingreuiaza *(complica) ultimii pasi *(decisivi) ai avortului: mamele vor trebui sa primeasca acordul sotului in acest sens si vor fi obligate sa asculte ritmul cardiac al copilului, care „le va face sa se razgandeasca”, deoarece, „inca de la conceptie, mama formeaza, impreuna cu copilul ei, un genom cu trasaturi unice personale”. Proiectul de Lege mai prevede si stimularea financiara a mamelor din saptamana a 13 -a de sarcina *(imediat dupa renuntarea la avort), pana la concediul maternal. Adversarii acestui proiect de Lege *(in principal membrele miscarii feministe) vorbesc in schimb de „dreptul la avort” si de crearea unei „culturi a contraceptiei” in societatea rusa, iar demografii rusi de „necesitatea” planning-ului familial – dan.camen.] / 3 june 2011

The State Duma is ready to pay mothers-to-be for choosing not to terminate their pregnancy earlyThe draft law on abortions will be introduced in the State Duma today. It aims to save Russia from a demographic pitfall in 2020 by paying benefits to pregnant women. Demographers argue that fiscal stimulus won’t work.

On Wednesday President Dmitry Medvedev solemnly declared that, in the last five years, the country’s birth rate had increased by 23.5% (in 2010, 332,247 more children were born than in 2005). Nevertheless, the 2010 census data shows that the rate of population decline continues to rise.

“Fewer children will be born in 2017-2020, because the 1990 generation – a time when the lowest birth rate indicator was observed for the previous 20 years and beyond – will reach its childbearing age. It can be expected that by the next decade our numbers will reduce by another 5 million people,” says Vladimir Mukomel, a demographer with the Institute of Sociology at the Russian Academy of Sciences. Researchers from the Strategies 2020 working group have looked even further: in the mid-2020s, the number of potential mothers of reproductive age will decline almost twofold.

Abortions not to be banned, but to be declined

One of the measures to save the country from extinction will be a law on abortions, drafted by the State Duma Committee on the Family, Women and Children Issues together with the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC). We are not talking about banning abortions, head of the committee, Deputy Elena Mizulina, tells Trud. She draws attention to the fact that the draft’s authors would still like to improve it. But United Russia member, Valery Draganov, has promised to introduce the law in the parliament as soon as by the end of this week.

The document will significantly complicate the final step towards abortion. A pregnant woman will need to get approval from her husband, if she has one. “And before signing an abortion agreement, she will be obliged to listen to the foetal heart rate and undergo an ultrasound procedure. This way, it will be harder for her to kill the unborn child because from conception, it forms a genome with unique personal traits,” says Irina Siluyanova, one of the draft’s authors and director of the Biomedical Ethics Department at the M.I. Pirogov University. Lawmakers are looking to Europe, where it has long been required to first hear and see the baby before going through with an abortion.

Mothers-to-be will receive a monthly stipend from the 13th week of pregnancy until their medical leave. Maria Arbatova, a publicist and an active member of the feminist movement, objects to the draft’s authors, and calls the document ill-conceived.

“Human history has shown that no amount of money will change a woman’s desire to have or not have a child. And this is most likely a populist pre-election measure, because it does not resolve the problem of demography, but creates the threat of a rising number of marginalized groups, detached from society,” says Arbatova. She recalls that the struggle for the equality of women began with the struggle for the right to abortion.

In addition to financial support, the bill also addresses the issue’s moral aspect, says Irina Siluyanova. “Abortion is a matter of morality. The current law recognizes a woman’s right to abortion, which is immoral. In the new draft, the notion of a woman’s inherent right is eliminated, and only the fact that this is her fully-informed decision is recorded,” notes the deputy. A woman has the right to make all medical decisions without consent, responds Arbatova, appealing to the Constitution.

The law prohibits the sale of abortion-inducing drugs over the counter without a prescription from a physician. Also, it is proposed that the European practice of giving up new-born babies for adoption anonymously is introduced.

Hospitals will have special rooms where a mother who has found herself in a difficult situation could give up her baby for adoption anonymously, instead of having to abandon him on the street, explains a doctor. He specifies that the State Duma is also working on adoption incentives.

It is proposed that abortions after the twelfth week of pregnancy are excluded from the list of mandatory medical services, except in the case of medical necessity or when the pregnancy occurred as a result of rape.

“This means that insolvent women and girls who are afraid of notifying their parents will be forced to undergo criminal abortions, the death rate of which is high,” warns Arbatova. She provides her own suggestions to resolving the problem: “Mandatory sex education classes. One of the reasons we are having demographic problems is because every fourth person in the country is infertile. For boys, this results from untreated venereal diseases at an early age, for girls from early abortions. The government must create a culture of contraception in society. Putting chastity belts on people will never work; therefore, the process needs to become safe.” Moreover, according to Arbatova, it is necessary to change people’s motivation and not to encourage them with benefits, but to make large families prestigious.

Demographers do not believe in payments

If a woman wants to have one child, then she will not have a second or a third child, no matter what incentives she is offered,” says demographer Vladimir Mukomel commenting on the practice of choosing not to have an abortion. However, he believes that abortion is a barbarian method, which society needs to abandon. “We need to allocate time to issues concerning family planning,” says Vladimir Mukomel.

Based on the demographic indicators of Russia and European countries, Mukomel argues that fiscal stimulus for childbirth leads to a large number of people getting detached from family and society. “This type of stimulus works only with low-income women, mainly immigrants, which as a result leads to an expansion of the lumpen layer of society – something we constantly observe in Western countries,” concludes the demographer.

Zhanna Ulyanova



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