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Abortion ‘destroys the future’ – Patriarch Kirill

Abortion is a genuine threat to society, Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, said on Tuesday. 

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Addressing a large gathering of officials, politicians, and activists in Moscow, Kirill called the termination of pregnancy a “national disaster” which destroys “the future of our society” and “our perception of the value of human life.”

He added that the issue of abortion should be handled not only through “legal bans,” but also through “raising awareness in schools, fostering in children respect for human life, love for their parents, for their country, for our moral values and ideals.” 

Women in Russia have relatively unrestricted access to abortion. However, 47% of Russians say the government should enact measures to ‘prevent abortions’, while 39% oppose state regulation, according to a recent poll by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM). 

A country of 146 million, Russia has seen a drastic decline in the number of terminated pregnancies over the course of the last two decades, with 506,000 abortions performed in 2022.

Nevertheless, politicians and the church have been discussing measures to encourage women to have more children, citing the need to boost the population.

President Vladimir Putin, who called the number of abortions an “acute” problem, has designated 2024 as ‘The Year of the Family’, focusing on programs aimed at helping families and promoting “traditional family values.”

In August, the Russian region of Mordovia adopted a landmark law banning abortion “propaganda.”

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