After decades of falling abortion rates, a debate has suddenly flared up in Russia over the issue. Some voices in parliament were louder than ever in their push to limit or even ban the practice, claiming that millions of women in Russia abort their pregnancies.
In fact, official figures indicate that , between 1993 and 2015, the ratio of abortions to live births in Russia fell from 235 to 44 per hundred. Furthermore, the rate of 26 abortions per 1000 women of childbearing age in 2014 puts Russia well below the global average of 37, and on par with the average in developed countries (27) – certainly a long way from being the country with the world’s highest abortion rates it once was.
Today, Russian women are able to take advantage of modern contraception not available a generation ago. Yet religious groups argue that abortion culture is prevalent and some officials claim six million abortions are carried out annually in Russia – something demographers say is physically impossible.
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