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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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A new church organization has created in Abkhazia: „Abkhaz Orthodox Church” / 16 may 2011

Sukhumi, May 16, Interfax – An ecclesiastical congress has asked to set up a commission to discuss the status of an independent „Abkhaz Church”.

The congress, which took place at the New Athos Monastery in Abkhazia on Sunday, adopted an appeal to the Primates and Holy Synods of all Orthodox Churches, asking to set up an inter-Orthodox commission led by a representative of the Ecumenical Patriarch, to discuss the canonical status of the „Abkhaz Church”, an Interfax correspondent reported.

It was reported earlier that the ecclesiastical congress created an archdiocese with an arch-see in New Athos in Abkhazia on Sunday. The congress was convened by young Abkhaz priests at the New Athos Monastery cathedral.

The arch-see will gradually transform into an independent Abkhaz Church,” said Archimandrite Dorofey (Dbar), chairman of the ecclesiastical congress. He suggested asking the Abkhaz Justice Ministry to recognize the ecclesiastical congress as a new Church institution in Abkhazia.

The congress participants voted for appointing the ecclesiastical congress as a supreme church-governing body until a fully functional institution of the „Abkhaz Orthodox Church” has been formed, and elected the Abkhaz arch-see Council that will act as a management body until the issue regarding the creation of the „Abkhaz Church” is decided.



Georgian Patriarchate urges to prevent a schism between the Orthodox Abkhazians / 16 may 2011

Tbilisi, May 16, Interfax – Georgian Patriarchate urged to prevent a schism between the Orthodox Abkhazians.

„It appears that the cause of this congress is an internal standoff. We ask the congress participants and all Orthodox believers living in Abkhazia to raise above the processes inspired by outside forces (which are the cause of the existing standoffs) and to restore with love and peace the canonical unity between us,” the Patriarchate said in a statement on Sunday.

We have always been open to meetings and talks with the Abkhaz clergy and laity,” the Patriarchate said.

The ecclesiastical congress, which took place at the New Athos Monastery in Abkhazia on Sunday, adopted an appeal to the Primates and Holy Synods of all Orthodox Churches, asking to set up an inter-Orthodox commission led by a representative of the Ecumenical Patriarch, to discuss the canonical status of the „Abkhaz Church”.

The congress created an archdiocese with an arch-see in New Athos.

„The arch-see will gradually transform into an independent Abkhaz Church,” said Archimandrite Dorofey (Dbar), chairman of the ecclesiastical congress.




Attempt to create Abkhaz „metropolia” will cause deadlock – Russian Orthodox Church / 17 may 2011

Moscow, May 17, Interfax – The creation of a new „metropolia” in Abkhazia announced late last week will only make it more difficult to resolve the Abkhaz church issue, the Moscow Patriarchate has said.

The church canon laws do not involve the making of decisions to create new metropolitanates, let alone autocephalous churches, at „clerical-laic” congresses. And the nomination by the „laic congress” of bishop candidates is explicitly prohibited by the canon law,” Archpriest Nikolay Balashov, deputy head of the Synodal Department of External Church Relations, told Interfax-Religion on Tuesday.

On May 15 the cleric-laic congress at the New Athos Monastery in Abkhazia announced the creation of a „metropolia” with a center at New Athos, which should gradually transform into an independent Abkhaz Church.

The event attendees issued a letter to the primates and synods of manorial Orthodox churches, asking to set up an Orthodox commission led by a representative of the Patriarch of Constantinople to define the canonical status of the Abkhaz Church.

„We understand the desire of the Abkhaz people to regulate the situation of the Orthodox religion in this country. However, bringing hot political issues into the life of the church, the division among believers – all this only postpones the possibility of a legitimate resolution of the Abkhaz Church issue,” a Russian Orthodox Church representative said.

A member of the Abkhaz clergy, Fr. Vissarion Aplia, earlier urged the clergy and laity not to attend this congress. The Abkhaz Church can stand firmly on its feet with help from the Russian Orthodox Church, he said.

The congress is non-canonical, and its resolutions have no legal force for Orthodox believers, he said.

Abkhaz Prime Minister Sergey Shamba has expressed concern, while the Georgian Patriarchate urged the congress and all Orthodox believers living in Abkhazia „to raise above the processes inspired by outside forces and to restore the canonical unity with the Georgian Orthodox Church.”




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Asia Bibi gravely ill, fears for her life, after three months in solitary isolation / 7th april 2011

The Christian sentenced to death for blasphemy has been ill with chicken pox, probably because of the unhygienic conditions of the cell where she is kept. Christians concern for the growing violence against them. Bishop Rufin Anthony: „This Lent we pray for peace in Pakistan. A Pakistan where we can all live freely”.

Lahore (AsiaNews) – Asia Bibi is sick, in solitary confinement, and there are growing concerns for her life. The Christian sentenced to death for blasphemy on false evidence is sick with chicken pox, because of the appallingly unhygienic conditions she is being kept in. The complaint comes from Haroon Barket Masih, president of the Masih Foundation, who today issued a statement: „Asia Bibi was diagnosed with chicken pox, she has been kept in solitary confinement for more than three months. We have expressed concern about her health, because she spends 24 hours a day locked in the cell. She needs medical care, hygienic and healthy conditions. She fell ill with chickenpox because of the dirty environment, and being unable to clean her room or bed sheets on which she sleeps. Despite her ill health she spends her time fasting and praying for everyone, she neglects her health and prays for everyone else. She is concerned about the current situation in Pakistan. We are trying to arrange a medical examination, and to ensure acceptable hygienic conditions. Until now she has had no medical care„.

Masih also declared: „Recently, Mothers Day was celebrated in Europe, we all celebrated Mother’s Day, people sent cards and postcards, but who remembered this sick woman praying and fasting in her cell? Did she not want to be with her children too? She is a mother. She prayed for her children. Please continue to pray for Asia Bibi who prays and fasts. „

But the situation for Christians in Pakistan seems to be worsening by the day. Perviaz Masih, a resident of Lala Musa, a small town 75 km from Lahore, was threatened for being Christian. Pervaiz Masih is the father of three children and works for Pakistan Railways in Lala Musa. It all started when the Koran was burned in Florida. Masih has defended his faith in a discussion at work. He said: „Christianity is a religion of peace, and we condemn this act.” But his colleagues were not convinced, and began to threaten him. Pervaiz Masih and his family fled the house on April 4 last and are in hiding since then. Extremist elements in society are becoming violent, and the situation in Pakistan grows worse day by day. The growing extremism in Pakistan is a concern not only for minorities but also for the government.

Bishop Anthony Rufin told AsiaNews: „I am saddened by the news about Asia Bibi, on her state of health and the state in which she lives. The Catholic Church prays for her salvation, and prays that she will be treated. It ‘s a difficult time for the minorities in Pakistan, incidents of violence are becoming more numerous, for how long will we live in fear? How many more Pervaiz Masih will have to live in hiding? We must work together for a campaign to promote harmony and tolerance. This Lent we pray for peace in Pakistan. A Pakistan where we can all live freely. „

by Jibran Khan


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Scris de pe aprilie 10, 2011 în articole, citadela, diverse, oameni, Vesti


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