Birth Rates: ‘Sit at home and give birth to more soldiers’: Russia cracks down on abortion access

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NEW DELHI: As President Vladimir Putin revealed that 6,17,000 Russian troops are presently involved in the conflict with 1,500 individuals joining the army daily nationwide, many regions have rushed to restrict abortions in private clinics, yielding to demands from the Russian Orthodox church.
It is believed to be a part of a wider crackdown. “When a country is at war, it is usually accompanied by this kind of legislation,” Leda Garina, a Russian feminist activist exiled in Georgia reportedly said.
The timing of these measures has raised eyebrows, considering that Russia’s abortion rate has already dropped “almost tenfold” since the 1990s, according to Russian demographer Viktoria Sakevich.
President Vladimir Putin said this week that he opposes a complete ban on abortion, but believes that terminations are contrary to state interests.
Putin wants women to “safeguard the life of the child”. “They see this as a question of national survival,” according to political analyst Tatiana Stanovaya.

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And Putin sees any resistance to social positions adopted by the Kremlin as a Western ploy, she added.
“Abortions are now part of it. They think that convincing a woman to have an abortion is a way of worsening Russia’s demographic problem — that it is the West’s plan,” Stanovaya said.
“We can expect more bans, more restrictions,” according to Sergei Zakharov, a senior Russian demographer at the University of Strasbourg in France.
He said that abortions might be excluded from the state insurance system, aligning with the church’s preferences.
Zakharov said trying to increase birth rates “by all means, including restricting abortions, is something Franco’s Spain or Mussolini’s Italy” did, adding: “This has never worked anywhere.”
Putin’s revelation
On Thursday, Vladimir Putin on disclosed an uncommon detail about Moscow’s military engagement in Ukraine, revealing that approximately 6,17,000 Russian troops are presently involved in the conflict.

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This revelation came during his year-end press conference, where President Putin emphasized the Kremlin’s stance against initiating a second wave of mobilization for reservists. Putin stated that the recruitment effort is ongoing, with 1,500 individuals joining the army daily nationwide.
As of Wednesday evening, Putin highlighted that a notable 486,000 soldiers have enlisted through contracts with the Russian military. He questioned the necessity for mobilization, asserting, “Why mobilization? There is no need.”
(with input from agency)



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