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Abortion Rates In Russia - Research Paper Example

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Historically speaking, the Russian Federation and the territories, that formally made up the Soviet Union and the Russian Empire, before that have had a very long history of legalized and expected levels of abortion as compared with the rest of the world…
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Download file to see previous pages However for purposes of this paper, the author will consider one of the most interesting and alarming demographic dynamics that is currently displayed within the world. One of the best ways of seeking to determine overall economic power, military strength, and outlook for the future is by examining demographic trends and projecting population growth, sustainment, and reduction over time. As a function of this, it is necessary to consider the case of the Russian Federation with respect to its abortion rate; combined with its extraordinarily low birth rate. In such a way this brief analysis will attempt to trace the history of abortion within the Russian Federation, the former Soviet Union, and the preceding Russian Empire. As a means of seeking to understand the dynamics that play into this particular case study of the country with the world’s highest rate of abortion, it is this authors hope that the preceding analysis will help to shed light on the means by which demographic shift can ultimately be affected by societal as well as governmental factors. Historically speaking, the Russian Federation and the territories, that formally made up the Soviet Union and the Russian Empire, before that have had a very long history of legalized and/or expected levels of abortion; as compared with the rest of the world (Tulchinsky & Varavikova 1996). Dating as far back to the tsar’s times, abortion was almost a common practice among the rural poor. This was due to a number of factors; not the least of which was the fact that the poorest members of society would often suffer the most from having to bring another mouth into the world that would require sustenance. As a function of this, something of a cottage industry of abortion developed within the far-flung regions of the old Russian Empire (Sedge et al 2007). Although it was technically illegal during these times to perform abortions the law was hardly ever enforced and the penalties for breaking this law were mild and comparison the litany of other crimes that Russian Empire heavily punished. In this way, the stigma that surrounded abortion was slowly removed and society began to accept it to a degree that would not have been possible in Western European or even North American nation. It is of course this sociological dynamic that has greatly contributed to the extent and prevalence of abortion within current society within the Russian Federation. Likewise, when the Soviets came to power, it was understood that the rights of women must be upheld and abortion was legalized. This helps to further remove the stigma that abortion had gained and allowed for an even increased prevalence of the practice within the early years of the Soviet Union. However, as a result of the Second World War and the famine in Ukraine, it was decided that abortion would again be made illegal (Henshaw et al 1999). However as can be seen with almost any change in government regulation or policy with regards to something that was previously allowable, the rate at which society accepted this greatly lagged behind what the government would have liked to have seen. Again, abortions continued, albeit hidden from the purview of the government authorities. Once again in the year 1965, Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev struck the illegality of abortion from the law books, assuring in some of the highest abortion rates that this region had yet seen. One of the greatest difficulties in seeking to understand the exact number of abortions that were performed during this time is the fact that Soviet records of abortions were and still are considered state ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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