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Putin orders Government to do more to reduce abortions and support pregnant women

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the Government to do more to reduce the number of abortions in the country by offering more support to pregnant women.  

Increased funding for organisations which offer effective support to women in crisis pregnancies and improving the provision of legal, psychological and medical assistance to pregnant women are outlined as key measures in Putin’s order, which was published on Saturday.

In addition, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin and regional heads of state have been tasked with reassessing the effectiveness of current abortion prevention strategies.

Pro-life measures appear to come as a result of population decline

Analysts suggest the recent changes in policy to, supporting pregnant women, come as a result of Russia’s falling population numbers. This year, the country’s population is predicted to decline by 352,500 compared to a decrease of 32,100 in 2019. 

Russia’s population decline has been described as nothing short of a “catastrophe” by scholars who now warn that there soon may not be enough males even to populate the country’s armed forces or security services.

Support for abortion

In his attempts to boost the population, Putin has announced a range of measures aimed at supporting women, despite appearing to be personally supportive of abortion.

Ahead of a fourth Presidential term, Putin said: “In the modern world, the decision is up to the woman herself. 

He continued: “Any decisions on restricting abortion in the future, must be careful, considered and based on the general mood in society and the moral and ethical norms that have developed in society.”

Abortion numbers fall

In response to high abortion rates and a falling population, in 2007, the Kremlin named abortion reduction as one of its key demographic policy priorities.

Since then, the Government have introduced a range of support measures for pregnant women. 

In 2018, the most recent year abortion statistics are available for, the Russian Government reported the number of terminations was 567,183,  this represents a 60% decrease when compared to the 1,423,711 abortions performed in 2006.

Last year, Russian Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova revealed that the significant drop in abortions had coincided with the opening of pregnancy support centres at maternity clinics and hospitals.

She told Russian news outlet, Tass, that around 1,500 centres had opened over the past 15 years.

This week, Deputy Health Minister Oleg Salagai told delegates at the Healthy Life Forum that the project is still “bearing fruit.”

He revealed that the number of abortions had decreased by nearly 30% over the past five years crediting the work of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation and public organizations.However, highlighting that there was still work to be done, he added: “These are big numbers, serious changes, but the number of abortions is still very high, and at the end of 2019, the number of abortions was approximately 523,000.”

Ongoing project

Over the next eleven years, the Russian Government has announced it will spend a minimum of 3.1 trillion rubles (£370.5 billion) on its demographic plan, which includes increased financial support for families with newborn children and improved support for female jobseekers.

Help stop abortion up to birth for babies with disabilities including Down's syndrome & club foot

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Dear reader

In 2020, the UK Government imposed an extreme abortion regime on Northern Ireland, which included a provision that legalised abortion right up to birth for disabilties including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot.

A new Bill has been launched at the Northern Ireland assembly that will remove the current provision that allows abortion for ‘severe fetal impairment’.

It is under these grounds in the regulations that babies with disabilities including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot can currently be singled out for abortion in Northern Ireland because of their disability and can be aborted right up to birth.

Before the new abortion regime was imposed on Northern Ireland in 2020, disability-selective abortion for conditions such as Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot was not legal and there was a culture of welcoming and supporting people with these disabilities rather than eliminating them.

This is reflected directly in the latest figures (2016) from the Department of Health in Northern Ireland, which show that while there were 52 children born with Down’s syndrome in Northern Ireland, in the same year only 1 child from Northern Ireland with Down’s syndrome was aborted in England and Wales. 

This contrasts with the situation in the rest of the United Kingdom where disability-selective abortion has been legal since 1967.

The latest available figures show that 90% of children diagnosed with Down’s syndrome before birth are aborted in England and Wales.

We are, therefore, asking people like you to take 30 seconds of your time and add your support to the campaign to stop abortion up to birth for disabilities including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot in Northern Ireland.

If you live in Northern Ireland: 
Ask your MLAs to vote to stop abortion up to birth for disabilities including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot:

If you live outside Northern Ireland: 
Show your support by signing this petition in support of the Bill:

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Help stop abortion up to birth for babies with disabilities including Down's syndrome & club foot

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