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.


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.

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Russia’s Abortion Debate Is Back

Sep. 29 2016 — 21:44
By Ola Cichowlas

Abortion rights are on the minds of citizens and officials across Europe this week.

In Ireland, protesters marched through the streets of Dublin in the thousands demanding their government hold a referendum to repeal restrictive abortion laws. The same week, the Polish parliament shocked Europe by voting through a draft law on a total abortion ban in its first reading, spurring protests across the country and even a scheduled national women’s strike next week. On Tuesday, Russia also reopened its own abortion debate.

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, endorsed an anti-abortion petition earlier this week. The document, drafted by the religious groups “For Life” and “Orthodox Volunteers,” had been approved by a patriarchal commission on family, motherhood, and children, the church said in a statement.

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Source: Moscow Times

Pro-life activists launch new petition promoting total abortion ban in Russia

Published time: 28 Sep, 2016 11:37

A new petition for a complete ban on abortions in Russia launched by the public movement “For Life” has been backed by over 300,000 people, including children rights ombudsman, and the head of the Russian Orthodox Church.

The head of the movement, Sergey Chesnokov, wrote on his Facebook page that the main objective behind the initiative was “changing the public opinion about abortions in Russia.” He also wrote that after the document is signed by one million people, they intended to send it to the presidential administration.

The activists write in their appeal that the petition was created in cooperation with the Russian Orthodox Church and that they seek a complete ban on artificial abortions, including morning-after pills, which they described as “legal infanticide” and “an act similar to pagan sacrifices of children.” The ruinous effects of abortions listed in the petition include demographic damage to the nation, damage to women’s health and psyche, as well as “the loss of divine blessing” by the people as a whole which, in turn, could lead to the loss of sovereignty, political and military defeats, and social disasters.

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