Initiative to exclude abortion from compulsory medical insurance is rejected in Russia

The expert working group at the federal level headed by Minister Mikhail Abyzov has rejected an initiative, put forward in the form of a petition, to exclude abortion from the system of compulsory medical insurance with the exception of certain medical indications. Members of the expert group turned down the petition by a majority vote.Representatives of the Russian Ministry of Health Care who took part in the expert group’s meeting expressed the opinion that implementation of this proposal might lead to an increase in clandestine abortion rates, and consequently to an increase in costs for subsequent treatment for women, and disability benefits. In particular, the Ministry’s State Secretary Dmitry Kostennikov, said: “Restriction causes discrimination, as only women who are better informed and have more money will have access to abortion.”According to data of the Russian Federal State Statistics Service, there are about one million abortions annually in Russia, the rate being among the highest in the world.According to a poll conducted October 2016 by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center, only 18% of respondents in Russia supported a ban on abortions while 70% did not support the initiative of excluding abortion from the system of mandatory medical insurance. SOURCE: Pravoslavie, 8 December 2016 ; VISUAL