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YABLOKO supported women in their pro-choice right concerning abortions

Press Release

September 6, 2011

On September 5 a rally against restrictions on abortions was held in the centre of Moscow. The organizers of the rally were initiative group "For Free Motherhood", the Russian Association "Population and Development", coalition Bunch of Ashberries. The Pro-Choice. The only political party supporting the right of women to make decisions on abortions was the YABLOKO party. The participants were holding banners "Do Not Oust Abortions into the Shadow Sector!, "A Conscientious Choice Is Better Than Irresponsible Parenthood," "Medicine Must Be Legal" and other.

The rally was held in connection with parliaments introduction of amendments into the draft law on protection of health of citizens in the Russian Federation, which will be examined by MPs in the second reading already in November. The document introduces a number of restrictions on abortions and also takes abortions out of the list of services of "gratuitous medicine". Also the draft law prohibits abortion without the consent of a husband, obliges doctors to give women "a seven days period for reflection", makes women to take a mandatory psychologists consultation on immorality of abortion and allows doctors to refuse from the operation on "moral grounds".

According to demographer Boris Denisov and doctor Lubov Yerofeyeva who spoke at the pro-choice rally, such policies will provoke the increase in the number of illegal criminal abortions, rather than lead to improvement of the demographic situation in Russia.

Introduction of the "week of silence" can make safer pharmaceutical abortion impossible. A ban on abortion without husbands consent is not only discrimination against women, but can become a leverage of pressure on a woman provoking growth of violence in the family. According to the international experience, a ban on abortion does not lead to the population growth.

Speaking at the rally Galina Mikhalyova, leader of YABLOKOs Gender faction, noted that the first attempts to limit women's reproductive rights had been made by MPs Yelena Mizulina (the Just Russia party) and Valery Draganov (the ruling United Russia party) in their antiabortion draft law developed with the support of the Russian Orthodox Church. These ideas caused outrage in the society, and examination of the draft law was postponed. After which they tried to introduce such amendments into the law on health care. The authorities tried to improve the demographic situation in the country restricting womens rights rather than to improving living standards for parents and children, increasing child benefits and guaranteeing places for children in kindergartens.

Tatyana Ovcharyenko, YABLOKOs activist, spoke about the ideas of the Russian Orthodox Church about women's place in society. "The Russian Orthodox Church sees a woman as a machine for delivery, and this idea is taken as a guidance for the Orthodox people in their legislative proposals," Ovcharyenko said.

YABLOKOs activists distributed leafleats with the June decision of YABLOKOs Bureau calling such legislative initiative unacceptable. "Adoption of this law will inevitably lead to the increase of illegal abortions and, consequently, increase of the number of cases of female infertility and mortality. Abolishment of free abortion without husbands consent or medical evidence or proof of rape will lead to corruption in health care and law enforcement, runs the decision of YABLOKOs Bureau.

The action in Moscow was held within the framework of international campaign "Days of Joint Action in Defence of Pro-Choice Rights". A rally in St.Petersburg on September 3 was the first Russian action within the framework of the campaign.

Photo: "Medicine Must Be Legal!"


Photo: Galina Mikhalyova with the activists


Photo: Distribution of leaflets


Photo: "Fight Against Abortions, Not Against Women!"


Photo: "Do Not Oust Abortions Into the Shadow Sector!"


Photo: From left to right: Galina Mikhalyova: "Information, Available Contraseption, Social Guaratees and Responsible Parenthood Will Reduce Abortions to Zero"; also Zoya Shargatova, Deputy Chair of the Moscow branch of YABLOKO, and Tatyana Ovcharyenko, activist.


Photo: Galina Mikhalyova


Photo: Tatyana Ovcharenko


See also:

Human rights

Womens movement


Press Release

September 6, 2011

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