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Top Russian legislator warns that rising anti-abortion rhetoric endangers women (but she still favors restrictions)

Source: Interfax

Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko — the most influential woman in Russian legislative politics — has warned that the rising “rhetorical intensity” of the nation’s abortion debate causes “public anxiety,” threatens to derail “common sense,” and puts women’s lives at risk. Speaking to journalists on Monday, Matviyenko alluded to the USSR’s total ban on abortion, which led to “dire consequences,” she said

However, Matviyenko also reiterated the government’s commitment to limiting abortions to cases where it is performed only for medical reasons or in cases of “some kind of violence against women.”

Over the year, officials in five regions (including Crimea) have partly or wholly banned private clinics from offering abortion services. In several other areas, the local authorities have imposed fines on anyone who “coaxes” women into getting abortions. Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church has also appealed to federal officials to develop new restrictions on reproductive rights as a matter of supposed national security and population maintenance.

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