Friday, February 1, 2013
From state funded abortions to war on "empty cots" Russian dilemma
When I heard a news report about Vladimir Putin encouraging more babies to be born in Russia by giving time off and encouraging the listening of romantic tunes by Boyz II Men, I had to wonder about their abortion policy and if it had changed. Not yet, but they are starting to see the error in their ways.
An article shows just how the schizophrenic thinking of the Russian govt. can be. Abortions are the method of birth control used and state funded abortion commonplace.
The relative ease of getting an abortion, in fact, has blinded many women to the numerous health risks associated with the process, especially for those who turn to it more than once. "The complications include bleeding and inflammation in the short term," says Lyubov Yerofeyeva, the director of the Russian Family Planning Association, an NGO that works to improve sex education in Russia. "In the long term, the most severe complication could be infertility."
And with the population level in severe decline -- demographers estimate it could fall below 100 million by 2050, from 150 million in 1992 -- the Russian government is also keen to tackle the issue of abortion. Last year, then-President Vladimir Putin introduced a long-term project to encourage women to have families with more than one child.
So now Putin says to have at least three children per family. Women have been scarred psychologically and medically by multiple abortions and now they need to do an about face and produce more children.
For Putin has declared war on empty cots with classic Putin bravado.He’s often insisted that having lots of babies is key to Russia’s internal security, to Russia becoming more “influential” on the world state. Why have a great democracy or a flourishing economy when you can simply outnumber everyone else? Putin puts the desirable figure at three babies per household and, in 2007, one province helped things along by declaring a Day of Conception. The idea was that if Russians got the day off work then they might stay at home, put on some Boyz II Men, close the curtains and help bring back the good old days of Soviet hegemony. Women who gave birth 9 months later could win a refrigerator. And they say that romance is dead?