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Monday, November 25, 2013

Russia Bans Abortion Advertisements

 RIA Novosti/Pavel Lisitsyn
The newly signed amendments to the law on healthcare introduce a ban on the abortion advertising, and make the illegal practicing of folk medicine a misdemeanor

The law was signed by President Vladimir Putin and published on the official website on Monday Nov 25,2013

Russia’s Federal Law on Advertising now includes the ban on advertising abortions and several restrictions concerning the advertising of traditional medical practices. In addition, the changes outlaw advertising campaigns which include free drug samples if these samples contain narcotic or psychotropic substances

In addition the act raises the age of voluntary consent for illegal drug tests from 16 to 18 years

Illegally practicing folk medicine becomes what is called an administrative offense punishable with fines of up to 4,000 rubles, or about $130


Abortion was a common method of birth control in the Soviet era and Russia still had the highest number of abortions per woman of childbearing age in the world in 2004, according to UN data

A law passed in 2011 made abortion legal only up until the 12th week of pregnancy. Some exceptions for termination up to the 22nd week of pregnancy are still permitted in the event medical complications or rape.

Abortions are legal in Russia and have been since Soviet times, but currently centrist-conservative lawmakers want to limit or completely ban such practices saying it is partly responsible for the country's dwindling population

In early October 2013 an official representative of the Russian Orthodox Church blasted abortions and surrogacy as “mutiny against God” and less than a month later the Head of the Lower House committee for family and children, Yelena Mizulina, said in a speech that the community must urgently stop tolerating abortions and surrogacy as they threaten to wipe out the population in Russia, and the world as a whole.

The law banning advertising "is not the beginning of the restriction of women's (reproductive) rights, but rather the continuation of a process begun in 2011," said women's rights activist Olgerta Kharitonova.

In September 2013 Deputy Health Minister Tatyana Yakovleva announced the number of abortions in Russia had fallen by a quarter over the past five years, but remains very high at about one million per year.

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