Staunton, Nov. 21 – Russian statistical agencies include under abortions both those carried out at the request of women and those doctors are forced to do because of medical problems like miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies, and other diagnoses, independent Russian demographer Aleksey Raksha says.
The latter far outnumber the former, he points out. In 2022, there were 324,000 of these as compared to 180,000 of the former, which are abortions in the usual sense of the word. And that is yet another reason why reducing the number of abortions on demand would little impact on the birthrate (spektr.press/zhenskaya-mobilizaciya/).
The other is that when Moscow banned abortions in the past as it did between 1936 and 1955, it led many women to seek illegal ones that typically were not counted but that led to more deaths among women and even to kill their babies outright or allow them to die in the first months of life.
Archival documents show that the number of abortions in fact increased after they were banned in the 1930s from 568,000 in 1937 to 807,000 in 1940; and the share of deaths among women from abortions rose from 26 percent in 1935 to “more than 70 percent” in the early 1950s.
Moreover, Raksha continues, “from 1934 to 1940, the share of murders of children under one rose 2.5 times in the countries cities,” including Leningrad. And while “in 1935, 134 infanticides were recorded in the cities of the USSR, by 1940, that number already had risen to 1500.”
Those who now want to make abortions illegal need to remember these figures because a new ban could lead to a similar increase in the deaths and thus not boost the country’s overall demographic figures as they claim will be the case.