Draft bill proposes new abortion restrictions
Russian parliament is currently reviewing a draft bill that proposes removing abortion from free healthcare packages at state hospitals. Elena Mizulina, the chairman of the Duma Committee on Family, Women, and Children, is one of the authors of the draft bill.
The bill also makes it illegal for private medical facilities to conduct abortions. If this rule is violated, all participating parties will be fined: citizens must pay a fine up to 200 thousand rubles ($4,000), officials must pay up to 800,000 rubles ($16,000), and legal entities must pay up to 2.5 million rubles ($50,700). The activities of any legal entity violating this law can be terminated for a period of up to 90 days.
According to the bill, mandatory state medical insurance plans will cover abortions only if the pregnancy is deemed potentially fatal or damaging for the health of the mother.
Another draft bill proposes to stop selling pregnancy termination drugs over the counter. A third bill states that pregnant women must have an ultrasound, look at the fetus, and listen to its heartbeat before receiving a doctor’s referral for an abortion. These bills are also currently under consideration in parliament.
Elena Mizulina says that Russia spends 5 billion rubles a year ($101.4 million) on abortions covered by mandatory state medical insurance. Mizulina proposes to redirect this money towards financial aid for pregnant women instead.
According to official statistics, about there are about one million abortions in Russia each year.