Russia and its Abortion Apocalypse
According to United Nations data, last year Vladimir Putin’s Russia had truly a stunning 53.7 abortions per 1,000 women in the population. The United States, by contrast, had fewer than half as many abortions per capita, just 20.8 per 1,000 women. Even with a population twice as large as Russia’s, the American tally of abortions was still much lower. In Ukraine, the rate was 27.5 and in Georgia just 19.1 women per 1,000 had an abortion in 2007.
No other nation was remotely close to Russia. Kazakhstan and Vietnam, two erstwhile Russian allies, were in second place at 35/1,000. Belarus, Russia’s kissing cousin, was close behind at 31.7. Russia is, in other words, the world capital of abortions by a wide margin. It is, in fact, an abortion factory, butchering over 2 million fetuses each year, more than 5,400 per day, more than it has live births — a situation virtually unprecedented in human history. Every ten years, Russians kill more of their own people simply by means of abortion than did Hitler’s invading Nazi hoardes in the whole of World War II.
There are only two possible explanations for this reality. One is that Russian women are terrified of bringing new lives into the neo-Soviet atrocity being created by Vladimir Putin. The other is that Russians are recklessly heedless of contraception, and using abortion to address the situation after the fact. It’s hard to say which would make Russia appear more barbaric, and in our view it is likely that both are operating, since neither alone could account for such a massive difference between Russia and the rest of the civilized world.
Given the fact that many nations, like the United States, have vigorous ant-abortion movements based solely on moral grounds, one might expect the anti-abortion push in Russia to be much stronger. Russians, of course, have a whole additional level of motivation to oppose termination of pregnancies, namely their catastrophically collapsing population (which is expected to halve before the next century is over).
Yet, as a recent article (referred to us by a reader in an e-mail) in the Los Angeles Times documents, in fact the Russian anti-abortion movement is non-existent. Yet another example of how the Kremlin’s brutal crackdown on civil society has stifled basic mechanisms which might serve the Russian national interest.
The article states:
Abortionist Marina Chechneva remembers the old-style Russian gynecologists who worked in state hospitals and churned out back-to-back abortions like Soviet factory workers. She remembers the women who “used to use abortion as a kind of vacation, because in the U.S.S.R., they got three days off from work.”
It’s not surprising, of course, that Soviet citizens would develop a total disregard for the value of human life given that is exactly how their own government treated them. But one might have hoped that when the Soviet regime collapsed because of its own failure, Russians would adopt a different attitude.
They haven’t. Chechneva is trying, but the LAT reports: “It’s an uphill struggle. Doctors complain that contraceptive use remains unpopular and that many Russian women rely on abortion for birth control.” And why should we really be surprised to learn this? After all, if Russians think it’s acceptable to have a proud KGB spy as their president, then presumably they have little interest in reversing the failed policies of the Soviet regime. Abortion practitioner Alexander Medvedev explains: “Even in community clinics, doctors are trying to dissuade patients from abortion. Now teenagers come to see us with already two or three abortions, and it’s horrible.” One abortion patient describes the abject horror: “”It’s like a conveyor belt. Women sit next to the abortion room in a line, and it happens very quickly.”
And if so many unborn children are wiped out in the womb, how many others are born to parents who don’t really want them, and grow up in a hostile world of alienated affection, alcoholism, drug addiction and despair? It’s a horrifying prospect to contemplate.
The government, of course, is trying to cover up the problem with absurd lies rather than address it. The LAT reports: “In 2007, for the first time in decades, Russia’s Federal State Statistics Service counted slightly more live births than abortions in Russia. But doctors say those statistics are flawed because of the growing number of women who opt for undocumented abortions in private clinics.”
The Kremlin, which knows only the language of blunt trauma, is simply incapable of carrying out effective reforms of social policy. To do so would not only risk exposing its own weakness, but it would risk empowering the population by teaching them how to solve problems and take civic action. The Kremlin could never be sure that today’s abortion movement would not become tomorrow’s democracy movement.
And we must also ask where is the West’s opposition to this atrocity? How can a supposedly “conservative” organization like Discovery Institute, which preaches the teaching of creationism in schools, possibly justify its policy of rationalizing and defending the Putin regime as it wipes out millions of unborn children, a large part of Russia’s future?