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Russian MP Zhirinovsky suggests government offer money to discourage women from abortion, to help alleviate demographic crisis

Russian MP Zhirinovsky suggests government offer money to discourage women from abortion, to help alleviate demographic crisis
Veteran Russian politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky has proposed that the state pay money to pregnant women to prevent them having abortions, an idea which he claims could solve the country’s demographic crisis.

The nationalist LDPR leader’s initiative is sure to upset some people who would be opposed to bribing women to have children. As things stand, Russian mothers with multiple children receive “maternal capital,” a lump sum given to enable the parent to help their offspring. Now, Zhirinovsky proposes offering this same money to women who give their newborn to the state, where they could be offered for adoption, instead of terminating a pregnancy.

“Let’s send it to a woman who wants to give up a child, terminate a pregnancy,” Zhirinovsky said. “I assure you, tens, and in the future, hundreds of thousands will agree to keep the child, give it to the state and get the family capital.”

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“This is very important, it is very necessary for us, but it is not being done.”

The veteran politician was speaking to a meeting of the parliamentary political leaders, from the four most represented parties in the State Duma. In response to Zhirinovsky’s idea, ‘Fair Russia’ head Sergey Mironov also suggested increasing the amount of maternity capital year-on-year, at more than one percent over the current rate of inflation. Right now, the lump sum figure is 466,617 rubles ($6,255), and can only be used for certain things, such as house improvement and education.

Like most of Europe, Russia is currently battling a demographic crisis, as the country’s population continues to fall. Just this year, between January and October, according to official stats, the number of Russians decreased by 381,800.

Earlier this year, Communist Party MP Tamara Pletnyova, suggested that Russians of child-bearing age who do not want to reproduce “should be taxed.”

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“This was the case in Soviet times,” she explained. “Only then, it was not women who paid for childlessness, but men.”

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