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Russia

New Anti-Abortion Movement Emerges In Russia

Rising religious objections to the practice come 93 years after the Soviet Union became the first country to legalize abortions. Today, they are still legal - and free.

Norilsk maternity hospital
Norilsk maternity hospital
Ekakterina Borisenkova and Ivan Tyazhlov

SAMARA — Legislators from the Samara region in southwestern Russia would like to end federal funding for abortions, saying that providing them under the national health care law forces those who oppose them for religious reasons to bankroll “baby killing.”

The Samara delegation has introduced legislation in the federal Duma assembly that would remove elective abortions from the list of procedures covered by federal health insurance. It would have no effect on cases of rape or in situations when abortion is medically necessary. And it wouldn’t limit access to elective abortions for women, but they would be required to pay for the procedures themselves.

Abortions are currently legal — and free — for any woman up to 12 weeks of pregnancy. And abortions are legal for pregnancies between 12 and 22 weeks of gestation in cases of rape, and at any time during pregnancy when an abortion is deemed medically necessary. Minors would also still have access to free abortions.

The Soviet Union was the first country to legalize abortion, in 1920. The Soviet government then re-criminalized abortion from 1936 to 1955 — at which point abortion was once again made legal. Russian abortion laws have become stricter in the past decade, with a 2012 law limiting abortions between 12 and 22 weeks to cases of rape or medical necessity. At the same time, the number of abortions in Russia has been steadily declining, with less than a quarter as many abortions performed in 2011 as in 1990.

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Society

End Of Roe v. Wade, The World Is Watching

As the Supreme Court decides to overturn the 1973 decision that guaranteed abortion rights, many fear an imminent threat to abortion rights in the U.S. But in other countries, the global fight for sexual and reproductive rights is going in different directions.

"Don't abort my right" At 2019 pro-choice march In Toulouse, France.

Alain Pitton/NurPhoto via ZUMA
Hannah Steinkopf-Frank and Sophia Constantino

PARIS — Nearly 50 years after it ensured the right to abortion to Americans, the United States Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade case, meaning that millions of women in the U.S. may lose their constitutional right to abortion.

The groundbreaking decision is likely to set off a range of restrictions on abortion access in multiple states in the U.S., half of which are expected to implement new bans on the procedure. Thirteen have already passed "trigger laws" that will automatically make abortion illegal.

U.S. President Joe Biden called the ruling "a tragic error" and urged individual states to enact laws to allow the procedure.

In a country divided on such a polarizing topic, the decision is likely to cause major shifts in American law and undoubtedly spark outrage among the country’s pro-choice groups. Yet the impact of such a momentous shift, like others in the United States, is also likely to reverberate around the world — and perhaps, eventually, back again in the 50 States.

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