“It was more common to take sick days for an abortion than for a cold…”

Two decades after the Soviet Union’s collapse, wider availability of contraception and a resurgence of religion have reduced the numbers of abortions overall, but termination remains the top method of birth control in Russia.

Its abortion rate
— 1.3 million, or 73 per 100 births in 2009 —
is the world’s highest.

Backed by the Russian Orthodox Church, an influential anti-abortion lobby is driving a moral crusade to tighten legislation and shift public attitudes that are largely a legacy of the Soviet era.

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