How should we talk about abortion in Russia?

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by Anastasiya Ovsyannikova, 31 October 2016. Open Democracy

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. Русский

Pro-Kremlin youth activists set up a "cemetery of unborn children" to protest against abortions, 2008. (c) Mikhail Metsel / AP / Press Association Images. All rights reserved.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.

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Source: Open Democracy