Russia has just defunded most abortions – a dangerous and discriminatory act that will harm vulnerable groups of women the most. If anyone is interested in arguments about why all abortions must be fully funded, here’s a piece written for the Canadian situation but much of it could apply anywhere: www.arcc-cdac.ca/action/why-abortion-must-be-funded.html
The Russian Health Ministry has cut the list of social grounds that allow women to have a free abortion, which leaves sexual assault as the only excuse for women to abort their pregnancy.
“A pregnancy which occurs after sexual assault, is a social reason for a woman to have an abortion,” the Health Ministry said in a statement.
Other social factors that would have qualified a woman for a free abortion were; if there was a court decision to relieve a woman of her parental rights, if a woman was in jail, or if a father became disabled or died during a woman’s pregnancy.
Among the medical factors that give Russian women the right for a free abortion are AIDS infection, oncology, an active form of tuberculosis, grave genetic diseases and other health problems threatening a woman’s life.
There are both state-run and commercial clinics that carry out abortions in Russia. The former offer free services in case a woman has social or medical factors that need to be taken into account, while the latter allow women to have an abortion even if they do not qualify for a free one.
Russia argues that abortion makes the ongoing demographic crisis in the country even worse. This kind of propaganda to distract from the governments responsibilities for social and economic problems can be found in more and more eastern european countries. Forcing especially poor women in having babies wont make the problem of poverty go away.
The parliament may soon pass a new anti-abortion bill that could limit access to abortion services and toughen criminal punishment for doctors who carry out illegalized abortions.