Russia’s Mordovia Becomes First Region to Outlaw ‘Coercion’ Into Abortion

Aug 3, 2023
Moscow Times

Russia's republic of Mordovia has become the country’s first region to outlaw the act of “coercing” women into undergoing abortion, independent media reported.

The regional-level law passed Thursday potentially sets the stage for similar laws across the country.


Demand for Abortion Pills in Russia Hits Record High – Kommersant

Aug 2, 2023
Sergei Kiselev / Moskva News Agency

Demand for abortion drugs in Russia reached an all-time high in 2022, the Kommersant business daily reported Wednesday, citing data by the RNC Pharma consultancy.

A total of 1.4 million drugs that induce abortions and 2.2 million emergency contraception drugs were sold in Russia last year, marking a 60% and 53% increase from 2021 respectively.


Russia Edges Closer to Abortion Ban in Quest to Preserve ‘Traditional Values’

By Leyla Latypova
July 27, 2023

The Russian government could be moving closer toward outlawing abortion, experts and activists have told The Moscow Times, as its wartime stifling of freedoms spreads to sexual and reproductive health rights.

While Russia has historically had a liberal abortion policy — with the exception of the Stalin-era ban — the conservative turn among the country's leadership, combined with a push from the Russian Orthodox Church, have put a target on the issue.


What the U.S. can learn from Stalin’s abortion ban

JAN. 4, 2022

As the right to get an abortion in the United States is whittled away, state by state and statute by statute, we can learn important lessons about the impact of its repression from the history of one country where it was first legalized — and then re-criminalized.

In 1920, Soviet Russia, which would become the Soviet Union in 1922, became the first country in the world to legalize abortion. In an unprecedented decree, the state noted that punishing women or doctors for abortion had “no positive results. It drives the operation underground and makes women the victims of greedy and often ignorant abortionists who profit from this secrecy.”


Russian Orthodox Church has ‘soft & flexible’ stance on abortion & does not demand practice be made illegal, spokesman reveals

26 Dec, 2020
By Jonny Tickle

The Russian Orthodox Church is not proposing a blanket ban on abortion and its official position is actually “more flexible” than a complete prohibition. That’s according to Vladimir Legoyda, the institution's main spokesperson.

Speaking on Saturday to RTVI, a New York-based Russian-language channel aimed at expats, Legoyda revealed that the Church is not entirely against the termination of pregnancy being legal.


Putin Orders Government to Improve Abortion Prevention Efforts

Oct. 27, 2020
Moscow Times

President Vladimir Putin has urged the government to improve abortion prevention strategies in an effort to reduce the number of terminated pregnancies and offset Russia's population decline.

Putin’s order was made public days after Poland’s top court deemed abortions performed in cases of fetal defects to be unconstitutional. For Poland, which already had some of Europe’s strictest abortion laws, the decision amounted to a near-total ban on the procedure, sparking mass protests in over 150 Polish cities.


Russian Children’s Rights Commissioner suggests funding cuts for abortion clinics

Russian Children’s Rights Commissioner suggests funding cuts for abortion clinics

May 29, 2020

During her annual performance report, Russia’s Children’s Rights Commissioner, Anna Kuznetsova, proposed reducing funding for abortion clinics.

According to Kuznetsova, the amount of funding allocated to abortion clinics should be in inverse proportion to the number of abortions. “A clinic should be interested in saving the child, and not in providing services for the artificial termination of pregnancy,” she said.

Kuznetsova also suggested limiting the sale of medical abortion drugs at pharmacies.

The commissioner’s report has already been sent to the Kremlin.

Children’s Rights Commissioner Anna Kuznetsova has consistently advocated for raising the birth rate in Russia and is known for her pro-life views. On May 28, she announced that she had given birth to her seventh child.


Moscow Halts Abortions During Coronavirus Outbreak: Activists

Moscow Halts Abortions During Coronavirus Outbreak: Activists

April 23, 2020

More than 100,000 pregnant women will be unable to undergo medical abortions in Moscow because of restrictions during the coronavirus outbreak, the women’s rights organization (“No to Violence”) Center has said.

Only three out of the Russian capital’s 44 clinics have said they would continue to provide abortions through the national compulsory medical insurance program, the group said on its website Monday. The other 41 clinics told that the procedure is unavailable “unless you’re brought in an ambulance.”


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.


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