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26 Sep, 2008 15:56

Russians opt for safer sex

“Your life. Your body. Your choice.” this is the message of this year's World Contraception Day. The international event has a particular resonance for Russia where abortion figures are truly shocking: four out of five teenage girls who get pr

Events throughout the country have been organised to raise awareness about contraception amongst the Russian youth.

In Moscow, people gathered for a rally organised by the non-governmental group “Girls thinking about the future”. They expressed their concern over the issue of family planning. As Anastasia Karimova – the group's coordinator – pointed out, for every 100 births in Russia there are 96 abortions, which, according to her, is harmful for both – individual women and society as a whole. 

“There were quite a lot of abortions in the Soviet times. I know people who've done it 7 or 8 times because of poor contraception methods, and can't have children now. Today people can choose from a great variety of contraceptives. We want to help them break old stereotypes and use protection,” says the coordinator.

Every time a woman has an abortion, she puts any future child-bearing at risk. In light of the current demographic crisis this could have a major impact on Russia's future population.

“Russia is currently in quite a difficult demographic situation. The population is decreasing and solving the problem of barrenness and other health issues connected with reproduction is vital for its survival” World organisation on contraception," says Boris Lord-Kipanidze from the World Organisation on Contraception.
The world events' organisers claim that many of those who have unplanned children are less likely to be loving parents. Their thinking is that using protection not only preserves your health, but your future home-life as well.

The idea has gained support of many groups within Russian society. Karina Barbie is a professional stripper and also decided to take part in the World Contraception Day. She started working in the erotic industry two years ago – right after she arrived in Moscow from Kazakhstan. Karina says it’s simply the lack of knowledge that keeps people from using contraception:

“The more people attend such an event – the more will find out something new. In most cases information is passed through friends and then we hear people saying that contraceptives make hair grow in places you don't want to. That's just absurd,” says the striptease dancer.

Pregnancy is something only a woman can go through, but a man's role is to care about protection just as much. And, as experts in the field point out, it turns out they do:

“A modern life is impossible without contraceptives. I have to say it's quite popular among our male customers who are starting to plan their future life,” says Viktoria Shenkarenko, a drug store manager.