Call for help: Women’s reproductive rights are in grave danger in Russia
Russian current law guarantees the right of the woman to be in full control of her
reproductive behavior. Yet in reality, over the last several years, this right has been slowly
but steadily undermined in practice, and now the forces behind that have attacked the very
right itself, seeking to change the current law dramatically.
By Russian law, the woman can ask for an elective abortion up until 12 weeks of pregnancy.
Between 12 and 22 weeks, an abortion can only be made on the basis of medical or so-
called “social” reasons laid out by the government. Over the years, the government had
shrunk dramatically the number of reasons of both kinds, for instance, eliminating the right
to perform a second-trimester abortion in case the parents are unemployed. This has been
done under the pronatalist pretext, though in practice the share of abortions made for
medical or social reasons has never risen much higher than 2% and 3% of all abortions,
It was not uncommon for some representatives in the past to sponsor legislation restricting
women’s rights further. In this manner, it was proposed that doctors were allowed to
decline performing abortions; that all abortions of married women require a permission
from the husband; that all abortions were banned altogether, except in case to save the life
of the woman. But those proposals all died early in the Russian parliament, most of the time
at the level of the committee rather than by an up or down vote.
(the document you can find attached)