How should we talk about abortion in Russia?
“Abortion is back on the agenda in Russia… There is only one argument for equating a human embryo in the early stages of development with a human being already born, and thus equating abortion with murder. It’s called “religious belief”… The existence of a “soul”, which does not correspond to what we usually consider the absent fetal consciousness in the first trimester of pregnancy, but which is inspired by god in a woman’s body at the moment of conception (already in complete human form, mind you), can only be a matter of belief. And, according to the iron logic of this belief system, abortion is unacceptable for any reason, with the exception of situations where the continuation of the mother’s pregnancy will inevitably lead to her death, and not always even then.”Both Eastern and Western Christianity, however, follow the rules drawn up by the Sixth Ecumenical Council that took place in Constantinople in 690-691CE. Rule 91 states that “women who provide drugs to produce an abortion, and those who take poison to kill their fetus, are subject to the punishment for murder…”One could play around endlessly with statistics and the experience of different countries, which show that banning abortions does nothing to reduce numbers, and only leads to women being mutilated by backstreet abortionists or attempting to induce a miscarriage themselves.”One could talk all day about how endowing the fetus with subjectivity automatically denies the mother her subjectivity, as the fetus is entirely dependent on her body, unable to survive outside it…”But this is all meaningless if abortion is murder: of course we can’t permit murder, even for the greater good… It would be interesting to imagine what the world looks like according to this belief. In such a world, if a person is an adult woman, then that person is most likely a murderer, and often a serial killer. This would certainly be the case in Russia: figures for 2007 show that 54.3% of Russian women aged between 18 and 49 had at least one abortion registered on their medical records for that year, and 32.9%, two or more. The year 2007 overall showed an average of 1.3 abortions per woman.”This… makes thieves, rapists, people who commit murder while drunk and so on look like innocent lambs. The Russian state, meanwhile, is merciless in putting thieves and rapists behind bars, but abortion is not only not punished, but financed by the taxpayer…”SOURCE: Open Democracy, by Anastasiya Ovsyannikova, 31 October 2016 ; PHOTO, 6 Nov 2016