Russia tightens rules on ads for abortions

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed into law on Thursday a number of amendments to the law on advertising stipulating that abortion ads must carry warnings about their side effects, including loss of fertility.

According to Russian lawmakers, advertisements mislead the public by creating an impression that an abortion is a simple surgery that poses no health risks.

The new amendments require that warnings about the dangers should occupy no less than 10 percent of each advertisement.

More than 1 million Russian women have abortions every year, which makes the ongoing demographic crisis in the country even worse.

According to the 2010 census, Russia’s population has dropped from 145 million in 2002 to under 143 million, with the death rate continuing to exceed the birth rate despite government efforts to encourage Russians to have more children.

The parliament may soon pass a new anti-abortion bill that could limit Russians’ access to abortion services and toughen criminal punishment for doctors who carry out illegal abortions.

The bill also stipulates that mothers who don’t want to keep their babies will be able to leave their newborn children anonymously in special adoption centers.

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