Right to abortion: Why in Ukraine started talks about banning abortions?

Author : News Agency

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Mass protests against ban on abortion.took place in Poland. Same topic soon appeared in Russia, where church also was in favor of complete ban of such operations.And then Ukrainian Orthodox Church Moscow Patriarchate offered at legislative level to ban abortion
23:15, 6 October 2016

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In late September, the Polish Sejm considered the two draft laws regarding abortion. It was a very lively discussion, as one of them called for the liberalization of the abortion law, which now operates in the country, and other - a complete ban on abortion. As a result, the Sejm has rejected the draft, which gives the right to terminate the pregnancy before 12  week without any restrictions, and the document on the complete prohibition of operations, including the prosecution was sent for revision.

In addition, in April 3 in all Catholic churches of the Polish Episcopate was read an appeal calling for full protection of the life of unborn children.

In Poland abortion – is a theme with a very long history. Initially, abortion was prohibited there, without exception, but in 1993 was adopted the so-called compromise "The law of family planning, protection of the fetus and conditions of termination of pregnancy", which allows abortion only in three cases: pregnancy endangers the life or health of the woman; if the pregnancy is the result of a criminal act (such as rape); if the fetus has serious defects. This is one of the most stringent legislation in Europe.

In many cities, Polish women came to the streets to protest against the introduction of a total ban on  abortion. The general strike was called women "Black protest," because its members were mainly in black clothes. In addition, women took hangers for clothes as a reminder of the primitive methods of self-abortion, which in many countries women have resorted to, not being able to have the medical abortion.

Protesters pointed out that abortion should be a woman's right, not the decision of the authorities.

Related: Ukraine’s Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate stands against abortions

In the result, “against” the ban voted 352 MPs, "for" - 58, another 18 deputies abstained from voting. Earlier, Minister of Science and Higher Education of Poland Jaroslav Gowin said that due to the massive protests against this law, Polish authorities decided not to prohibit abortion.

Patriarch Kirill urged to completely ban abortions on Russian territory

Almost simultaneously with Poland, Russian Orthodox Church also became interested in the subject of prohibition of abortions. On September 27 Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill signed a petition for the ban on abortion in Russia. The document, which is signed by Kirill said that in Russian Federation should be banned surgical and medical abortion and contraceptives with abortifacient action.

Petition regarding the ban on abortion will be sent to President Vladimir Putin after gathering a million signatures. Now it is signed by more than 300 thousand people.

Since the Orthodox Church plays a very important role in the legislative field of the Russian Federation, it is not excluded that the initiative, supported by the patriarch, will result in a new law that would tighten abortion in Russia.

A spokesman for the patriarch Alexander Volkov said that Orthodox Church's position is not a total ban on abortion but on the withdrawal of this procedure from the compulsory health insurance system.

Russian Minister of Health Veronika Skvortsova said that the ministry is created a special group, which also includes representatives of Orthodox Church, and it will develop a decision on abortion before the end of 2016.

Related: Second Vatican: consequences of Poland's abortion wars

Proposals of Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate

The position of Russian Orthodox Church probably influenced the UOC-MP. Recently, the UOC MP Metropolitan Oleksandr Drabinko signed a petition calling to ban abortions in Ukraine. He said that first we need to exclude abortion from the services provided under the health care system.

"The argument that, they say, it will increase the number of clandestine operations - it's nothing. For these illegal operations people also pay the money. The price of legal abortion must be the same, as well as price of illegal. But not at the expense of taxpayers, "- he said, adding that he believes abortion is one of the major illnesses of Ukraine.

According to Drabinko, the church is going to initiate the collection of signatures among the parishioners to ban abortions; he also intends to initiate a hearing in Parliament on this issue.

According to the law, in Ukraine an abortion can be carried out at the request of women in health care facilities during pregnancy for a period not longer than 12 weeks. In some cases, interruption of pregnancy is possible during pregnancy from twelve to twenty-two weeks.

In recent years, the country has a tendency to reduce the number of abortions. According to Ministry of Health data, 91 877 abortions were registered in 2013, and in 2014 were registered 70 694 such operations. Despite the downward trend, Ukraine is still among the European countries with the largest number of abortions.

Related: 'Black Monday' strikes to protest abortion law in Poland

On the website of the President a petition on prohibition of abortions was registered in February 2016, but it gained only 53 of the 25 000 necessary signatures.

Ukrainian MPs tried to ban abortion in 2013. The deputies of the faction "Svoboda" offered to ban and to criminalize termination of pregnancy, but the profile committee of Verkhovna Rada has rejected the bill.

It should be noted that the probability of the prohibition of abortions in Ukraine is much lower than in Poland or in the Russian Federation. A similar bill, even if it is introduced in Parliament, is unlikely to receive the support of deputies. It is too sharp and unpopular issue for the deputies took it to decide. Experts note that the complete ban could lead to an increase in the number of clandestine abortions, the so-called "medical tourism", when women go to other countries to interrupt the pregnancy, use of illegal drugs or, in the worst case, resorted to "folk methods". In addition, there are risks of a sharp increase in the number of abandoned children. This topic will probably never get the full support in Ukrainian community.

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