November 27, 2008
Repealing Roe v. Wade - in Russia
Peter the Great once described Russia as a country in which things that just don't happen, happen. It's true.
Authorities in Novorossiysk, a city near the Black Sea, have declared this week to be a "week without abortion." Doctors won't conduct termination operations except in "the most extreme cases." In addition, at the city's maternity clinic psychologists and gynecologists will work with pregnant women to prepare them for motherhood. More astounding, the city's universities will screen films describing the detrimental effects of abortions. And a representative of the city's government says that "doctors will do everything they can to stop women from doing the irreparable."
Like other cities in Russia, Novorossiysk is desperate to reduce abortions and boost the birth rate. Indeed, the number of abortions in Russia is among the world's highest. In Russia, nearly 70 percent of pregnancies are terminated. According to the country's national center of gynecology and midwifery, between 10 percent and 15 percent of abortions in Russia have complications that leave between 7 percent and 8 percent of Russian women sterile. In Western Europe, the UN reports that each year there are 12 abortions per 1,000 women. In Russia, it's 54 per 1,000.
As a result, Russia's population is dropping so fast that by 2050 the country's population will actually be smaller than the population of, say, Yemen -- which has a high birth rate. Yemen is fairly small; Russia covers nearly one-sixth of the earth's surface. As its population implodes, it won't be possible to sustain the country's economy or even defend its vast borders. While Putin and his hand-picked poodle Medvedev blather on about the growing importance of Russia to the world's economy and gin up all the trouble they can -- in Georgia, with Venezuela and with Iran -- in fact Russia is beginning to evaporate.
Good for the local officials of Novorossiysk, and for other cities that are struggling to turn things around. You can read more about their efforts here.