July
08
 

Russia says abortion ads must contain health warning

Russian lawmakers, worried about a shrinking birth rate, passed a law last week that abortion advertisements must carry a health warning. Russia has one of the world’s highest abortion rates and cutting this could help to stem a demographic catastrophe that looms as its population shrinks. Under the new law approved by the lower house of parliament, 10% of the space used in abortion ads must carry a list of possible negative consequences for women, including infertility.

Reuters reports that 2007 saw 1.5 million abortions – almost equalling the number of children born that year. “These ads make young girls believe they won't have any problems interrupting a pregnancy,” RIA news agency quoted parliamentarian Viktor Zvagelsky as saying. He said the law was drawn up as “the situation with abortions in Russia was depressing.”

The UN predicts that by 2050 Russia’s population will have shrunk by almost a fifth from today to 116 million. Health experts say key factors in the decline are heavy drinking by men, poor diet leading to heart disease, an HIV/AIDS epidemic spurred by heroin abuse and a high number of violent deaths. The bill is predicted to pass the upper house and be signed into law by President Dmitry Medvedev without a problem. ~ Reuters, Jul 1



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