Patriarch Kirill proposes stripping private clinics of right to receive female patients for abortions

Interfax Religion (17.05.2022) – Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has come up with an initiative to prohibit private clinics from performing the artificial termination of pregnancies.

“Proposals being articulated by lawmakers right now, specifically on stopping the facilitation of abortions in private clinics, which would make statistical data more accurate and eradicate the encouragement to chase profits by terminating children’s lives, seem to be important,” Patriarch said when speaking during Parliamentary Meetings in Russia’s Federation Council on Tuesday.

He went on to call on lawmakers to show a braver approach to the protection of life, without paying attention to any opinions meant to frighten people with the potential growth in illegal operations. “Any illegal actions must prompt an adequate response,” Patriarch Kirill said.

He expressed hope that law enforcement authorities would ensure that healthcare issues remain “solely within the scope of competence of the professional medical community, and not merchants.”

Patriarch Kirill also told parliamentarians that the Russian Civil Code protects the right of any unborn heir. This rule could be modified in such a way so as to make the law protect the life of a child, a future member of society, from the moment of inception. “Surprisingly, the right to inherit is protected, and the right of a child is not! How did we get this? From what culture? From what tradition?” the Russian patriarch asked.

HRWF Comment

During the 2000s, Russia’s steadily falling population (due to both negative birthrates and low life expectancy) became a major source of concern. On 21 October 2011, the Russian Parliament passed a law restricting abortion to the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, with an exception up to 22 weeks if the pregnancy was the result of rape, and for medical necessity it can be performed at any point during pregnancy. The new law also made mandatory a waiting period of two to seven days before an abortion can be performed, to allow the woman to “reconsider her decision”. Abortion can only be performed in licensed institutions (typically hospitals or women’s clinics) and by physicians who have specialized training. The physician can refuse to perform the abortion, except the abortions for medical necessity. The new law is stricter than the previous one, in that under the former law abortions after 12 weeks were allowed on broader socioeconomic grounds, whereas under the current law such abortions are only allowed if there are serious medical problems with the mother or fetus, or in case of rape.


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