Intended for healthcare professionals


Russia proposes strict limits on abortions to boost population

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 17 May 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d3103

Not a bill, and not that dramatic

This news item from Russia reflects the current, hot at times,
discussions about abortion. But in essence it misrepresents the situation.

The proposed draft law is not the bill, i.e. it is not under consideration
in the Russian "parliament". This is just one of many proposals, more or
less frivolous, prepared by a group of communist-patriotic-orthodox MPs and
their supporters. One of them - Elena-Misulina - is heavily cited in the
news item. Probably, this draft will never became a bill, as has
happened with many similar proposals from orthodox-patriots.
Second, it is worth knowing that Soviet Russia once championed an
enormous volume of abortions, but during the post-Soviet time it succeeded
in reducing the number of abortions per year from 4.4 mln in 1989 to 1.3 mln
in 2009 (from 123 to 34 per 1000 women of reproductive age).

It is a huge change. As is common in politics, people who had nothing to do with the success want to dramatize the already improving situation
to ascribe the improvement to their efforts.

Competing interests: No competing interests

18 May 2011
Vasiliy Vlassov
First Moscow State Medical University