When Soviet Women Won the Right to Abortion (For the Second Time)

When Soviet Women Won the Right to Abortion (For the Second Time)

By Sasha Talaver

After a liberalization period following the Russian Revolution, the Stalin-era Soviet Union drastically restricted women’s right to abortion. But in the 1950s Soviet women won free and legal terminations — achieving the right to choose before almost all of their sisters in the West.

In today’s Russia, feminism is often regarded as something imported from the West after the collapse of the Soviet Union, just like foreign finance or the internet. In this context, the story of how Soviet women won the right to abortion is a sad case of lost memory — it having been forgotten that it was achieved here earlier than in Western countries. Yet this fight was an important example of Soviet women’s political activism — and a story that helps us reconstruct a wider history of socialist feminism in the USSR.

Continued: https://jacobinmag.com/2020/03/soviet-women-abortion-ussr-history-health-care

Pussy Riot performing in Alabama to protest ‘ridiculous’ abortion ban

Pussy Riot performing in Alabama to protest 'ridiculous' abortion ban

July 7, 2019

The Russian collective Pussy Riot will perform in Alabama on Thursday, a sold-out concert to raise money for women's rights groups in light of state's recent passage of a near-total ban on abortion.

Proceeds from the Birmingham benefit will go to Planned Parenthood and the Yellowhammer Fund, a group that gives assistance to women seeking abortions at one of the southern U.S. state's three clinics

Continued: https://japantoday.com/category/entertainment/pussy-riot-performing-in-alabama-to-protest-%27ridiculous%27-abortion-ban

Regional Conference on Bringing the WHO Recommendations on Safe Abortion and Family Planning Closer to Women in Countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia

EASTERN EUROPE / CENTRAL ASIA – Regional Conference on Bringing the WHO Recommendations on Safe Abortion and Family Planning Closer to Women in Countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia

by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
December 18, 2018

Chisinau, Moldova, 15-16 November 2018

Organised by the Reproductive Health Training Centre, Moldova, with support from the Safe Abortion Action Fund

There were 65 participants. The meeting was in Russian with simultaneous translation in English. Participants included health professionals, health policymakers and NGO representatives from 11 counties in the region – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and Russia.

Continued: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/eastern-europe-central-asia-regional-conference-on-bringing-the-who-recommendations-on-safe-abortion-and-family-planning-closer-to-women-in-countries-of-eastern-europe-and-central-asia/

Russia’s abortion debate highlights limit to church-state partnership

Perspectives | Russia’s abortion debate highlights limit to church-state partnership
The church has been pushing for a ban on abortion. The Kremlin isn’t interested.

Diana Dukhanova
Nov 5, 2018

Russia is an acknowledged leader of the global movement to assert "traditional" values. Yet when it comes to abortion – a bedrock issue for most traditionalists – the Kremlin is sticking to a largely pro-choice stance that puts it at odds with the Russian Orthodox Church.

Tension over abortion has been simmering for years between the church (ROC) and government. In September 2016, Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill signed a petition to the federal government to ban abortion, calling for fetuses to receive the same legal protections as living persons. The petition's sponsor, leading Russian anti-abortion group For Life!, reached its goal of collecting 1 million signatures in August 2017, and late last year submitted the petition to President Vladimir Putin.

Continued: https://eurasianet.org/perspectives-russias-abortion-debate-highlights-limit-to-church-state-partnership

Russia – Officials Impose Short-Term Abortion Ban During Pro-Life Campaign

Officials Impose Short-Term Abortion Ban During Pro-Life Campaign

Aug. 06 2018

Hospitals in several Russian regions had imposed a de facto moratorium on abortions during an annual pro-life campaign run by the prime minister’s wife this summer.

Faced with the lowest birth rate in a decade, the Russian government seeks to reverse the demographic crisis with a $8.6 billion plan to encourage Russians to have more babies by offering mortgage subsidies and other social programs.

Continued: https://themoscowtimes.com/news/officials-impose-short-term-abortion-ban-during-pro-life-campaign-62447

Guess What? Vladimir Putin Is a Pro-Choice Champion

Guess What? Vladimir Putin Is a Pro-Choice Champion

By Geoffrey Smith
December 14, 2017

Maybe it’s the old Communist in him, maybe he’s always been a closet feminist, or maybe it’s because he just doesn’t want to annoy half of the country’s voters four months before he runs for re-election. Whatever the reason, Russian President Vladimir Putin finally came out as pro-choice on Thursday.

“In the modern world, the decision is up to the woman herself,” Russia’s president said in his annual marathon press conference on Wednesday, which ran to just shy of four hours. Any attempt to suppress it, he added, would only push the practice underground, causing immense damage to women’s health.

Continued at source: http://fortune.com/2017/12/14/vladimir-putin-russia-abortion-pro-choice-press-conference/

Russia: Putin’s Next Target Is Russia’s Abortion Culture

Putin’s Next Target Is Russia’s Abortion Culture

The Russian president is worried about his country’s shrinking population. His social-conservative allies say they have the solution.

By Amie Ferris-Rotman
October 3, 2017

MOSCOW — On a recent windy afternoon, members of a prominent Russian religious group were busy laying out 2,000 pairs of children’s shoes in the corner of a park — each representing an abortion performed on an average day in Russia.

Fighting the elements to keep the tiny slippers and rubber boots in place, the organizers from “For Life” took to loudspeakers to reel off the reasons why Russia should make abortion illegal. Simultaneously, two men unfurled a long red-and-white banner with a quote by President Vladimir Putin, reading: “Demography is a vital issue… Either we’ll continue to exist, or we won’t.”

Continued at source: http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/10/03/putins-next-target-is-russias-abortion-culture/

Anti-Abortion Ideology is On the Rise in Europe

January 2, 2017 by Daria Sukharchuk, Ms. Magazine

As the right-wing parties are on the rise in Europe, one can see a certain turn towards more conservative politics in all spheres of life—including reproductive rights.

To date, Europe has put forth some of the most pro-choice legislation in the world. In most European countries—with the exclusion on Poland, Malta, Northern Ireland and the Vatican—abortion is allowed, without restriction, for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, and in some countries even longer than that. The procedure is usually carried out in a normal hospital—not a dedicated abortion clinic—and the shouting crowds with harrowing pictures are not as common a sight as they are in the United States.

[continued at link]
Source: Ms. Magazine

How to make abortion rarer

How to make abortion rarer
Bans and restrictions do not work. Superior birth control does
Dec 3rd 2016 | ATHENS AND SEOUL

ABORTION, says Theodora, a Greek civil servant, was “an absolute necessity” when she became pregnant last year. Her husband had lost his job and money was too tight for a third child. The procedure, at a private clinic, was “efficient”; she was in and out in three hours. Hers was a typical experience for a middle-class Athenian woman. It is not uncommon for one to have four or five abortions, says a gynaecologist in Athens. In Greece abortion is seen as an ordinary form of birth control.

Most modern contraceptives, however, are not viewed that way. More than half of married Greek women use none at all. Withdrawal and condoms are the methods of choice for most couples who are trying not to have a baby—even medical students, who should know that these fail about a fifth of couples who rely on them for a year. Greeks commonly believe that the pill and other hormonal contraceptives cause infertility and cancer. They also distrust intrauterine devices (IUDs), possibly because they have been taught that tampons are unhealthy.

[continued at link]
Source: The Economist

How should we talk about abortion in Russia?

How should we talk about abortion in Russia?
Abortion is no longer such a lightweight issue as it used to be in Russia. But moves towards banning reflect ultra-conservatives' desire for a witch-hunt, not changing public attitudes.

by Anastasiya Ovsyannikova
31 October 2016
Open Democracy

Abortion is back on the agenda in Russia. The recent appointment of Anna Kuznetsova, who is closely connected with a radical Orthodox anti-abortion movement (and who has sponsors in the Kremlin), as Russia’s new Children’s Ombudsman seems to have given a green light for another push against abortion. Patriarch Kirill recently signed a public petition calling for a ban on abortion. At the same time, Elena Mizulina, a prominent anti-abortion politician, has recently proposed excluding abortion from state healthcare. These latest developments, coinciding with mass protests in Poland against restrictions on abortion, have once again brought public attention to the issue.

It’s a paradox: the readiness with which the Russian public responds to anti-abortion rhetoric is not only a symptom of the emergent de-civilising atmosphere of the past few years, it’s also the flip side of the recent softening and “humanising” of attitudes in everyday life, which, despite everything, has been going on over several decades.

Continued: Open Democracy