Criminalizing Abortion: Russian Federation Council Proposes Criminal Charges for Inciting a Woman to Abort a Child

AP News

Father Joseph Gleason from Russia sent us this post.

Patriarch Kirill and Metropolitan Tikhon proposed a federal law that prohibits inciting women to have an abortion. Senator Kovitidi supports the initiative and proposes introducing criminal measures.Photo: Hannes P Albert / Dpa / Global Look Press

The Criminal Code must establish liability for inciting a woman to have an abortion, said Olga Kovitidi, a member of the Federation Council Committee on Constitutional Legislation and State Building, a senator from the Republic of Crimea, in an interview with RIA Novosti.

Earlier, Patriarch Kirill had proposed adopting a federal law banning anyone from inciting a woman to have an abortion. Metropolitan Tikhon of Simferopol and Crimea also spoke about the need for such a law.

Senator Kovitidi said, “I share the position… of Bishop Tikhon on the inadmissibility of inciting women to have abortions and the provision of administrative liability for these unacceptable actions. It is obvious that deliberate actions aimed at forcing a pregnant woman to have an artificial abortion through persuasion, proposals, bribery, deception, and other demands must be punished.”

In addition, the senator proposed to more carefully study the issue of criminalizing an administrative article by adding Art. 123 of the Criminal Code (“Illegal abortion”), paragraph 4, which provides for punishment for inciting or coercing a woman to have an abortion.

In her opinion, issues related to cases of medical indications for termination of pregnancy should be clearly regulated in order to preserve the life and health of a woman. Large families in Russia should become the norm of public life. To do this, women must want to have children. The state should consider additional measures of material support for families in which four, five or more children are born,” she added.

In early August, deputies of the state assembly of the Republic of Mordovia for the first time adopted a law that prohibits the promotion of abortion in the region. Its authors noted that the Concept of State Family Policy in Russia for the period until 2025 names termination of pregnancy as one of the factors that negatively affects women’s health, and also recognizes the high number of abortions as one of the reasons for the low birth rate. Subsequently, a similar law was adopted by deputies of the Tver region.

The head of the Komi Republic, Vladimir Uyba, also proposed the day before to exclude abortions from compulsory health insurance policies (CHI). “In the context of the problem of demography and population conservation, our proposals have already been formulated to bring to administrative responsibility for inducing women to have an abortion. And here, at the regional level, I propose to tighten as much as possible the measure of liability for forced abortion,” he said.

In July, the head of the Ministry of Health, Mikhail Murashko, said that the country plans to tighten control over the circulation of drugs for abortion by the end of the year. The minister also called the desire to postpone having children for the sake of a career “vicious”. In addition, since the beginning of the month, private clinics in several Russian regions, including Crimea and the Kursk region, have announced their refusal to perform abortion procedures.

The number of abortions in Russia has been declining since the early 1990s, by an average of 6% per year. In 2020, Rosstat recorded 553 thousand abortions (for every 100 births there were 38.8 cases of artificial termination of pregnancy). At the end of 2022, this number has already decreased to 506 thousand. Moreover, according to Rosstat, private clinics account for a fifth of all abortions performed in the country.

It also follows from the report of the statistical agency that in 2022 the number of abortions in the private healthcare segment increased by 2.8%, and in the public sector decreased by almost 3.7%. At the same time, last year the sales of drugs for medical abortion and emergency contraception increased significantly – by about 60%.

Source: (Russian)

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  1. George Michalopulos says

    We here in the West could only be so lucky to have legislators such as these.

  2. How long will take the Fordhamites to cry foul?

    Days? Hours? Minutes?

  3. “Its authors noted that the Concept of State Family Policy in Russia
    for the period until 2025…recognizes the high number of abortions
    as one of the reasons for the low birth rate.”

    Some years ago, in an on-line correspondence in the Glasgow Herald,
    I suggested that one of the chief reasons for the below replacement rate
    of live births in Scotland was an abortion rate of one in four pregnancies.
    Jings!From the reaction of the harridans and their fellow travellers,
    you would think I had chucked the head of Macbeth into the cauldron
    during the opening monologue on the heath from the three witches.
    One particularly innumerate virago, taking great umbrage, insisted
    that the abortion rate had no relation whatever to the live birth rate.

    Interestingly, the number of abortions in Russia fell
    between 2000 and 2022 by over seventy-five percent,
    coinciding almost exactly with Putin’s ascendancy:

  4. This is why Russia is going to be the leader of the Christian world, and specifically the Orthodox World. Rome has long since fallen, America has fallen, Constantinople seems to be on its way out. It’s up to Russia to carry the torch.

  5. Indeed. And I’m supposed to root against Russia..why?

    • Because they’re making an effort and we spoiled brats hate that they’re succeeding. I wonder when they’re going to get a clue that God, Himself, is helping them?

  6. Interesting – thanks for posting!

    I will add that the answer for faithful American Orthodox Christians – in my opinion – is not to abandon the United States and “move to Russia,” as some advocate.

    The answer is to prayerfully and persistently compel and evoke changes/improvements to American culture… often at the local level. American culture has not always been driven by lunacy from government – it does not always have to be. Many American government institutions have been captured by diabolical fringes since probably the JFK murder, but that does not have to be their permanent sentence.

    Abandoning ship in favor of some “utopia” elsewhere is counterproductive and unhelpful. Not to mention that some find that said “utopia” is not what they thought it was.

    The United States desperately needs solid, active, and faithful American Orthodox Christians here…. some of whom are good at articulating truths to an American audience and are called to be among those who publicly act and speak up.

    • Although it’s really tempting. I agree with you, though. And, no, it’s not a Utopia, as some people think. The Russians struggle. And they are doing the lion’s share of the work around the world cleaning up the mess. They’ve lost 60,000+ young men with this Ukraine thing and that’s not counting the 100s of terrorist groups they got rid of in Syria.

      I literally weap for them. They have sacrificed so much.

      Seems like staying here is the right thing to do: Stay here and do what we can to help clean up this mess.

      • There have also been some disastrous experiences with Americans moving to Russia… then their families fall apart, divorces, 15-year-old American kids are in Russian 2nd grade because they can’t read Cyrillic and are miserable, etc.

        Would be nice if Fr Joseph Gleason wrote about some of these disastrous real-life experiences rather than constant propaganda about “how wonderful moving to Russia is.” While initially compelling, I eventually unsubscribed from his propaganda.

        If God had wanted me to be Russian, he’d have had me been born there.

        • Regarding Fr. Joseph, I’m curious if you know him. Because it sounds like you think you know about him. He’s a prolific writer, you know. Hard to keep up the happy talk when you’re, well, not happy.

          Happiness is a poor indicator of a fulfilled life IMO. I think it would be a fair statement to say many of us struggle with “happiness” given the state of the world.

          Thank God for the Church, is all I can say.

          In this neck of the woods, we encourage our kids to be homeschooled. What grade they’re in matters little. My mother used to teach kids English (for 30 years) coming into the U.S. school system. They caught up as did George and his extended family who spoke Greek. Were they happy? Father working 2 jobs, mother with a life-threatening illness. You know, l-i-f-e. Sure, they were happy. They were Orthodox.

          We’ve got kids struggling with what sex they are in this country. I recently read that “Before the pandemic, during September 2019 enrollment, a total of 16 kids in the entire state identified as “non-binary”. As of September 2022, this school year, the number of total non-binary students has increased to 675 kids. That is a 4119% change from baseline increase in 4 years.

          Learning a foreign language sounds like a piece of cake in comparison. It will happen eventually.

          I had to laugh when you talked about “disastrous experiences” in Russia, as if Russia had a patent on them. 40-50% of first marriages end in divorce here. Families falling apart is the norm. What we don’t have, however, is a leader who is trying to fix the problems. Not in the White House, anyway. Our leadership is too busy worrying about where to send all our money: Ukraine? Israel? Decisions. Decisions.

          I’m not advocating anyone move to Russia, although they are creating communities for American expatriates to make the transition easier. Just saying.

          • FTS, I think Fr Joseph is coming from a different angle. I’d say he has a “leg up” on other American expats in that his children are homeschooled.

            Speaking for myself, Gail was on to something that I didn’t fully realize about my own child of Greek immigrants and that was that things were tougher for me than I remember.

            What can I say, immigration is never pretty.

            Yes, the Cyrillic alphabet cam be daunting for some. And I’m sure that some marriages fail. At any rate, the proof is in the pudding. Russia remains the #2 destination of choice for people dissatisfied with their present situation.

            Anyway, it would be nice of somebody catalogued the immigrant picture in Russia.

            • “…the Cyrillic alphabet cam be daunting for some”

              …as can the Latin alphabet for those that don’t know it,
              or the Greek for that matter. But there are similarities
              between all three. Start there and make a game of it…

          • I don’t know Fr Joseph – but I am not moving to Russia so I will probably never meet him 🙂

            Regardless, I am not a clericalist, and simply because he is a priest does not mean that his ideas should be taken as Holy Truth and be off-limits for discussion. I grew up Orthodox Christian in PA and am well aware of the problems with clericalism – I experienced a lot of it in my youth, unfortunately. Clericalism is what the Roman Catholics and often Protestants do, not us.

            Anyway, I was taught that when things get difficult, you don’t abandon ship and run away. Regardless of the merits of what is going on culturally in Russia — and yes, Russia’s Christian revival is wonderful, absolutely. I lamented during the days of Soviet Union just like so many free Orthodox Christians in the West. But I don’t think Russia’s Christian revival means that it is virtuous to abandon the American ship and move there, or to paint an unrealistic rosy picture when writing about Americans moving to Russia.

            Yes, things are now difficult culturally in America for Christians – I am neither blind nor naive. But God put us here for a reason, and I don’t think that reason is to run away. Perhaps He wants us to fight spiritually and culturally, perhaps He even wants some of us in America to be imprisoned or die for our beliefs — I don’t know. Remember that Saint Patriarch Tikhon blessed some of his clergy to die at the hands of the Soviets rather than to betray the Truth of the Church. More likely than not, God wants us Orthodox Americans to be light for millions in this predominantly post-Protestant secular nation who have never even seen Christ.

            But for a young American man who has a wife and young kids and is understandably frustrated with the cultural state of America – I still don’t think the answer is to run away. Strengthen your home and your local parish, cultivate a trade and master it, protect and provide for your family, help your wife homeschool if that is what you do, speak out locally when it is appropriate – there is so, so much to do in America – so much that needs to be done locally – instead of running away and learning Cyrillic.

            And about the millions of unchurched Americans who are dying in nihilism and are starving for Christ and His Church — we Orthodox Americans are the ones God may work through to help bring them into the bosom of His Church, to see Him and to see Life.

            I am a retired US Army officer, so much of my personal stance comes directly from my decades-long personal and emotional investment in America. I ain’t leaving Her. I was born in this country messy and covered in blood, and if that is how God calls me to leave this country, then so be it 🙂

            Despite all of our American cultural problems, we still have plenty of freedoms, and last I checked, all Orthodox Americans remain free to go to Vespers on Saturday night, to Holy Confession, and to Divine Liturgy. That’s not nothing.

            I know many Orthodox Christians – including in my own parish – who do not appreciate Fr Joseph’s push to get Americans to move to Russia, as it is counterproductive, often grossly misleading, and takes strong/solid American Orthodox men away from where they are needed, away from where God put us.

            I value what you and George do here – I really do…. I value your forum for a thoughtful exchange of ideas that matter to English-speaking Orthodox Christians. I have valued this website for more than a decade now, more than you probably can imagine. But this “move to Russia” nonsense a situation where we will will have to agree to disagree, which is perfectly OK with me.

            It is not necessary for those who dwell in love to see eye-to-eye on everything.

            Many blessings to all of you during the Nativity Fast, and thank you again for maintaining this wonderful website.

            • FTS, you bring up some valid points. The decision to emigrate to another country is never an easy one. But then again my dad and my maternal grandparents did so.

              A little off-topic here: I’ve often wondered that the reason America prospered mightily during the last century is because of the massive influx of “Type A” people. Let’s be honest, you gotta be Type A to leave your ancient homeland with all its familiarities, uproot yourself and try to make it in a country where all you’ve heard about is that it’s populated by savages.

              Where does that leave the remainders? Are they Type B people? Are the males beta, gamma or delta? That would seem to be the case given the fact that many Northern European nations were the first to approve of gay marriage. Even the Scots! The stereotype of the hyper-masculine Scottish male is well known, yet they were on the gay train before we here in the States were. (Same with Mexico, the land of machismo.)

              Is it because the alpha males left?

              • There’s a ton of young American guys looking to realize their alpha state – our feminized culture has spent decades suppressing it and marginalizing it, even making it “shameful” to be masculine.

                Many men have sadly fallen for that B.S. In our faith at least, we realize our true masculinity in Christ – each guy will express that differently, some as MMA fighters and some as artists. Some as priests, some as university professors.

                But it’s our job – the more mature Orthodox Christian American men – to help the younger guys along the way, and even learn from them, too. No one else will do it – literally, there is no one else. Western secular culture leaders are more than happy to watch young Christian guys crash and burn, and then laugh at them when they do.

                Orthodox Christian organizations like the St Paisios Brotherhood and outlets like the “As Iron Sharpens Iron” podcast are tapping into this craving for authentic Christian masculinity. They have had and continue to have incredible responses and interest. Authentic Christian masculinity has been culturally suppressed for decades now in America, but I believe it can be recultivated. The energy and the building blocks are there.

                George, this is why we can’t leave America, even if/when the cultural winds blow against us. Authentic Orthodox Christian men must be here to help fight, to lead, to encourage, to rebuild.

                At least this is my opinion.

              • Traditional working-class of life in Scotland
                has been gradually dismantled over decades.
                Thatcher’s policies first crushed the industries,
                leaving large populations welfare dependent.
                while the ‘leadership classes’ were subverted
                with the fool’s gold of economic ‘deregulation’,
                as the ownership of our natural resources
                was transferred to London and beyond.

                While this was going on, the churches and universities
                were infiltrated by the same sort of cultural marxists
                infecting the USA today – but we got them first.

                They got into the teacher training colleges and began
                producing clones of themselves to make still more.

                The traditional Scottish male (and female too)
                has been disenfranchised and deprived of voice
                by a most egregious trahison des clercs.

                We are submerged in a sea of second-rate dross.
                But we will surface again, with the help of God,
                and Scotland will again be free of the filth.

                That is my prayer.

                • The unfortunate part about all this is that nothing is going to change anywhere until we ALL change.

                  Your colleges could come be tied to the States, as an example. Unless you’re talking about companies and organizations at the local level, they won’t change. These cultural marxists have control over the entire world at the moment.

                  • Change will come only when people
                    lose their fear of cultural marxism.

                    Such loss of fear comes one heart at a time,
                    much like it did in the old Soviet Union.

                    When enough have lost fear
                    the rest will follow on.

              • I agree with you and have the same concern about people fleeing blue states for red ones. Stay & fight. I honestly don’t get it. The darkness needs the Light.

  7. Don’t hold yer breath…It’s only a matter of time before this happens here…Doxa to Theo, John D
    Woman Arrested & Fined for Silently Praying Outside Abortion Clinic (Birmingham) Nov 24, 2023
    In the “buffer zone” of one of the abortion clinics in the English city of Birmingham, on October 18, volunteer Isabel Vaughan-Spruce, co-director of the pro-life organization March for Life UK, who heads the “40 Days for Life” campaign, was fined for “silent prayer”, writes Christian Today.
    […] According to the Christian legal group Alliance Defending Freedom UK (ADF UK), which sided with Isabel Vaughan-Spruce, a police officer approached her and asked if she silently prayed for unborn babies and if she was a member of an organization advocating “pro-life” or “pro reproductive choice.”
    “The UK Government urgently needs to make it clear that thoughts can never be illegal – even if they are at odds with the government’s position. This is the third time I have been treated like a criminal for peacefully, silently and quietly praying for women who are probably going through one of the worst days of their lives. The buffer zone law was originally intended to prevent me and others like me from counseling women in urgent need of help. And now the authorities are trying to prevent me from even praying for these poor women! Fining a person simply for his thoughts – this is the fulfillment of Orwell’s predictions, this is a violation of all the freedoms that Britain is called upon to protect,” Isabel said in connection with the incident.

    • Prayer scares the whatever out of them like nothing else can. You can have the most vile thoughts, even act on them, but p-r-a-y-e-r? Oh, no! Can’t have that.

      They’re scared of God, as they should be. Very scared.

    • Imagine that – silent prayer!

      Nothing speaks louder than that!

  8. We need to pray for Russia. A continual incentive for women to seek abortions is the poor living conditions many are subject to outside of the big cities. (This is not an apology for the sin of Abortion). It’s shocking that Russia has a higher abortion rate than the USA, especially since in certain regions they are experiencing a population collapse. “Authorities have also started to restrict access to abortion pills and emergency contraception amid a surge in demand that followed the beginning of the war in Ukraine. In 2022, sales of abortion pills were up 60 percent, according to Nikolay Bespalov, development director of the RNC Pharma analytical company, the Associated Press reported.” -Newsweek

  9. Chaplain reported to Prevent over LGBT views sues school for victimisation

    Rev Dr Bernard Randall, who said Trent College pupils could question
    teaching on gender, alleges discrimination because of his CofE beliefs

    ‘ A boarding school headmaster is facing legal action from a chaplain who was sacked and reported to Prevent after telling pupils they were free to question LGBT policies.
    Trent College in Derbyshire, where fees are up to £40,000 a year, and its head Bill Penty, have been accused of victimisation by the school’s former chaplain.
    The Rev Dr Bernard Randall, 51, who was sacked in 2019, also alleges harassment and discrimination on the grounds of his Christian beliefs.
    Dr Randall lost his job and was referred to Prevent, the Government’s anti-terrorist scheme, after delivering a sermon to pupils in the school chapel which he says reflected the CofE’s teaching on marriage.
    The sermon discussed identity politics and told pupils that they did not have to agree with LGBT teaching.
    The chaplain told pupils that they were entitled to “look at some of the claims made about gender identity, and think that it is incoherent to say that, for example, gender is quite independent of any biological factor”.
    He said: “You should no more be told you have to accept LGBT ideology, than you should be told you must be in favour of Brexit, or must be Muslim – to both of which I’m sure most of you would quite rightly object.”
    The chaplain said he devised the sermon after Educate & Celebrate, a third-party sex education charity, worked with the school on policies to ensure LGBTQ issues received appropriate representation, and encouraged staff to chant “smash heteronormativity”. … ‘

    Not all the Anglicans have been emasculated.