Russian MPs Sponsor Bill to Pay Women NOT to Have Abortions

The movement to ban abortion in Russia is growing, following a group of Russian Orthodox Church activists who in 2014 gathered 100,000 signatures for a petition that would ban on abortions in Russia. The 100,000 signatures were enough to propose a valid legislative initiative. A bill to ban abortion has not yet advanced to the legislative stage.

However, last year, the majority of the Russian parliament (MPs from the United Russia party and the center-left opposition Fair Russia party) drafted a bill to limit state insurance payments for abortion, ban private clinics from performing them, and only allow women to buy morning-after pills after they received a mandatory health check up and received a prescription from the supervising doctor. The bill also required women seeking an abortion to first undergo an ultrasound scan of her womb. The sponsors point to statistics that show that “up to 80 percent of them refuse to have the abortion when they see their child on the screen.” This bill has not yet been passed by the State Duma.

This year, MP Elena Mizulina (of the populist nationalist party LDPR) sponsored a bill to pay women roughly $3,700 to not have an abortion. A long-time advocate against the murder of babies, Mizulina has called upon the Russian community to end abortion and sustain Russia’s population.

Mizulina’s bill would compensate women who refuse to have an abortion and give their baby to the state, with a one-time monetary payment of roughly $3,700 (roughly 250,000 rubles), accounting for inflation each year. The dual-purpose goal is to end abortion and allow the state “to boost the birth rate and give those children who were doomed to die before being born, a chance to live.

Another sponsor of the bill State Duma MP Aleksandr Sherin explains, “Currently, only about 20 percent of women who want an abortion abandon their intention. Material stimuli could help to significantly improve this figure.

In order to be paid, a pregnant woman must first fill out the necessary paperwork and documentation with the proper authorities, including her passport, a doctor’s certificate estimating her due date and how far along her pregnancy is. The papers include a stated obligation not to have an abortion, also certified by doctors. The agreement also specifies that no government agency or official can inquire how the woman spends the payment.

Sherin estimates that roughly 150,000- 200,000 women might accept the government’s offer, calculating the program will cost roughly 50 billion rubles per year ($745 million). That also means that roughly 200,000 babies could be born (not accounting for twins or other multiple births) and spared from death.

June 10, 2016

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