The headline of the day from The Guardian: “Russia’s Population Undergoes the Largest ever Peacetime Decline.” One demographer estimated the decline to be about 1 million since October 2020. A low birth rate (1.5 est.) and high Covid deaths accounted for the overall population decline. Russia’s past efforts to increase the birthrate include subsidies to families with more than two children and attacking “gay propaganda”.
China’s population will soon decline, if it isn’t already, (both Russia and China have suspect demographic figures). Last year, China’s mothers bore fewer babies than any year since 1961. The Covid death rate is unknown. China recently attacked “effeminate men” and prohibited movies showing gay love. It has recently permitted families to have three children, though this will likely have the same effect as the laws a few years ago permitting two children, i.e. negligible.
Aside from attacking gay men and women, both countries are inching to granting subsidies only to those with large families, i.e. apartments.
Both countries are also zeroing in on their abortion laws. Abortion being generally legal in both countries, the authorities are gradually seeking to restrict its availability – sex selection abortion is already prohibited in China. In China, the recent State Council declarations said China would reduce the number of abortions for “non-medical purposes”, though this type of statement has been made before. In Russia, some in the government and the leading Patriarch have called for banning many or all abortions.
National power being dependent on demography, it is not surprising that Russia and China want an increased (or at least a not drastically decreased) population. (see my previous article on white Texas males).
Then we have the non-world power of San Marino, all 33,000 of them, hidden away within the confines of Italy and just as nominally Catholic. 40% of the population turned out to vote in an abortion referendum and 77.3% of them supported allowing abortion up to the 12th week of pregnancy, and in some cases thereafter. This leaves Malta, Andorra and Poland as the European countries banning abortion.
History shows that banning abortion only drives it underground and makes it more dangerous for women. History also shows that men (and alas some women) in power don’t understand History.
For the last two years, our partner, APROFA, has been working hard to officially register the abortion pill. The pill is actually two medications called Mifepristone and Misoprostol that safely end pregnancy when taken together. Access to it reduces barriers for many women and healthcare professionals, especially because it is non-invasive and can be done at home. The Chilean Government has finally approved APROFA’s application to register the abortion pill.
While abortion is only currently legal in certain circumstances in Chile, this win brings us a step closer in the fight for global reproductive rights.
APROFA will begin distributing the combination pill in early 2020.
No, not for the World Cup, but for the vote today in the lower house of its Congress to decriminalize abortion up to 14 weeks gestation. The vote was 129-125. The bill next goes to the Senate. It will be close. We are ready and actively lobbying.
From the just released report from Guttmacher
Notably, abortion rates are similar in countries where abortion is highly restricted and where it is broadly legal: The abortion rate is 37 per 1,000 women in countries where abortion is prohibited or permitted only to save the life of the pregnant woman, and 34 per 1,000 women in countries where abortion is not restricted as to reason. Legal restrictions do not eliminate abortion. Rather, they increase the likelihood that abortions will be done unsafely, as they compel women to seek clandestine procedures. Indeed, abortion tends to be safer in countries where it is broadly legal and in countries with a high gross national income.
Reports out of Bolivia indicate that the government will decriminalize some abortions in that country. The legislature has approved a bill to allow abortions for students, adolescents or girls up to the eighth week of pregnancy. President Morales has said he will sign the bill. There is loud opposition from the Catholic Church that he must face down.
The Health Minister Ariana Campero has pointed out that this bill is a public health matter, that there are over 80,000 clandestine and unsafe abortions annually and that deaths from these abortions is the third leading cause of maternal death.
Until now abortion had been permitted only when the woman’s life is in danger, in cases of rape or incest or fetal malformation.
A further bill is being proposed to decriminalize abortions for reasons of extreme poverty, doesn’t have resources to support a child, has three or more children or is still studying.
These measures are a refreshing adjustment to reality. Women are dying, or becoming infertile, from illegal abortions. The medical establishment must take steps to train more doctors in abortion practice to make sure that legal abortions are accessible and safe and that the woman is treated with dignity.