With a falling birth rate in a country having one of the world’s highest abortion rates, concerned Russian lawmakers passed a bill on July 1 requiring that all abortion advertisements carry health warnings. “Under the new law approved by the lower house of parliament [Duma, pictured left], 10 percent of the space used in abortion ads must carry a list of possible negative consequences for women, including infertility,” reported Reuters News. Russia’s upper house of parliament, the Federation Council, is expected to follow the Duma in approving the measure, and President Dmitry Medvedev will likely sign the legislation into law. Reuters quoted one member of Russia’s parliament, Viktor Zvagelsky, as saying that ads for abortion “make young girls believe they won’t have any problems interrupting a pregnancy.”
According to Russia’s census, the country’s population plummeted by more than 12 million between 1992 and 2008, and stands at around 143 million today. Legalized abortion has accounted for a significant part of that drop, with some 1.5 million abortions reported in the country in 2007 alone — nearly the same as the number of children born in that year. The United Nations has predicted that by 2050 the Russian population will have dipped to 116 million.
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Duma Lower House of Parliament (picture)