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Russia’s Encouraging Turn Toward Life

July 30, 2010, Life Issues Institute: For years, Russia faced an under-population crisis. One conspicuous explanation stood out: an abortion rate near 70 percent. In just over a decade, the country shrunk by 12 million, prompting the United Nations to predict that by 2050, Russia’s population would further dwindle to one-fifth of what it is now. Only recently did this trend change.

At a special convention in New York this week, the Russian Federation announced the good news. Finally, more babies are being born than aborted. In fact, last year, Russia experienced its first annual population increase since 1995. Yet the UN experts were not pleased.

Instead of encouraging motherhood and healthy families — just as Russian leaders have done, most recently with a national “Week Against Abortions” — the UN had preferred Russia work on racism issues and boost immigration. That would solve the problem, they insisted.

But the Russian government knew better. Abortion was too big to ignore, and it was affecting those left behind, too. “Abortion has been recognized as a serious problem in safeguarding the health of women,” delegates told the committee. In fact, they shared another benefit of decreasing abortions: maternal mortality rates dropped, too! This was good news all around. Right?

Not for the experts. Reportedly, the committee complained about women being encouraged to have children instead of being quickly sent back to the workforce. One expert allegedly disparaged a society where women hold roles as good mothers, wives, and caretakers, while men provide for their families. Others abruptly shifted the focus to transgender and homosexual issues.

In their haste to be politically correct, the UN panel missed the big picture. When abortion declines, mothers are healthier, babies are spared, and nations are saved. When this happens in a land infamous as the first to legalize abortion and notorious for having one of the highest abortion rates in the world, there is even more cause to celebrate. So even in the face of united negativity, we’ll do what the UN sadly could not: offer our sincere congratulations to Russia on this wonderful accomplishment.

For Life,
Bradley Mattes
Executive Director
Life Issues Institute

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