The President of the Russian Federation , Dmitriy Medvedev, signed “Basics of the protection of the health of the citizens of Russian Federation ” act. The draft  went through three readings in the State Duma (lower house of Parliament) and was the subject of wide debate in Russian society with interventions from the Orthodox Church, civil society and academia, and was heavily criticized by the Head of the National Medical Chamber of the Russian Federation , Mr. Leonid Roshal. For its final reading, more than 300 amendments were presented, 109 of which were adopted. The new law introduces a new “silence period”, ie. a mandatory waiting period before performing an abortion. According to the article 55 § 3, abortions conducted on a woman’s request within first 12 weeks of pregnancy will require a waiting period of 48 hours in the case of pregnancy in the 4th-7th week or 11th-12th weeks, but not later than end of 12th week of pregnancy and with waiting period of 7 days in the case of the pregnancy of 8-9th weeks. The law also sets the provision for obtaining an abortion in Art 56 § 4 that reads: “Abortion is conducted on social grounds until 22 weeks of pregnancy and in case of medical need, irrespective of the duration of pregnancy” (social grounds are set by the Government of the Russian Federation). Additionally the law introduced the possibility of conscientious objection. It allows doctors to obstain from performing abortion but  in the case of refusal of the treating doctor to follow and treat the patient and in the case of notice in written form about the refusal to conduct an abortion, the official (head) of the medical organisation (division of medical organisation) must organise a replacement of the treating doctor. He new bill further guarantees free family planning consultations; free medical assistance during pregnancy, during delivery and post-pregnancy; provision of nutrition for pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers as well as children under 3 years old.

Source: http://kremlin.ru/news/13612