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29 Dec, 2023 00:23

Abortion is murder – Russian Orthodox Church

Propaganda supporting the termination of pregnancies is unacceptable, the country's predominant Christian denomination has said
Abortion is murder – Russian Orthodox Church

The deliberate termination of pregnancy is tantamount to murder, the Russian Orthodox Church said in a statement released on Wednesday, arguing that there is no “right to abortion.”

The document was released as church leaders, conservative activists and some politicians have been calling for restrictions on abortion in Russia, or even a total ban.

“The church unequivocally equates arbitrary surgical or medical abortion to murder, regardless of the method or the length of pregnancy,” said the document adopted by the church’s governing body, the Holy Synod. “For that reason, it is unacceptable to proclaim ‘a right to abortion’, which means ‘a right to murder’.”

The church further rejected the pro-choice argument that terminating a pregnancy should be allowed up until the embryo reaches a certain stage of development.

“Propaganda of abortion in any form, including in the media, is unacceptable,” the Synod said.

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, described abortion last month as a “national disaster” that destroys “the future of our society.”

President Vladimir Putin has refused to endorse calls for a full ban on abortions, however. During his end-of-the-year press conference on December 14, he said that officials should be “very careful” about regulating the procedure.

Meanwhile, the president has repeatedly spoken out about the need for the government to encourage Russian families to have children, and more of them. Last month, Putin signed a decree declaring 2024 the Year of the Family and appointed an official to lead the programs aimed at promoting “traditional family values.”