Many private clinics in Tatarstan have voluntarily surrendered their pregnancy termination licenses, a regional ombudswoman has said
About one-third of private clinics in Russia’s Republic of Tatarstan have stopped providing abortion services, the regional ombudswoman for children’s rights has said.
In a post on Telegram on Tuesday, Irina Volynets said that many health centers had ditched their pregnancy termination licenses after she made a pro-life appeal both to them and to the regional Health Ministry at a meeting in early August, describing the results of her campaign as “the best birthday present.”
“The republic’s clinics are removing abortion from their list of services one by one,” she wrote.
Volynets also pointed out that private clinics do not always provide pre-abortion counseling, as a result of which around 15% of women change their mind about pregnancy termination. She also complained that some of these health centers do not comply with the law requiring them to wait one week after an initial abortion request before performing the procedure.
She also thanked the head of Tatarstan, Rustam Minnikhanov, and the region’s health minister for supporting her initiative to remove abortion from the range of services provided by private clinics.
Volynets had previously proposed that abortions be performed only at state-funded facilities and not at private clinics. However, her initiative was rejected at the federal level by Russian MPs who voiced concerns that such restrictions could lead to a surge in underground abortions and therefore increased mortality. They also argued that Russian citizens have the right to choose where they receive medical services, adding that such a move would be unlikely to boost fertility rates.
The ombudswoman’s comments come after the Republic of Mordovia, Tatarstan’s neighbor, became the first region in Russia to ban “abortion propaganda.” Those who violate the new restrictions face a fine of up to $2,000.
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