Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Vladimir Legoida Said that the Church Opposes Abortion but Also Doesn’t Want to Restrict Women’s Rights

Dmitri Petrov. The Prayer of an Expectant Mother. 2005

The Prayer of an Expectant Mother

Dmitri Petrov



Vladimir Legoida, the head of the MP Synodal Information Department thought that Patriarch Kirill didn’t intend to restrict women’s rights when he proposed restrictions on abortions. “The Church doesn’t propose that we resort to repression… rather, it defends a woman’s maximum freedom of choice. A choice can be only be truly free if one has a full awareness of all the consequences, risks, and threats”, he was quoted as saying on Wednesday in Российская газета (Rossiyskaya Gazeta : The Russian Newspaper). Therefore, he went on to say, the first proposal of the patriarch to reduce abortion was to introduce a mandatory waiting period for the procedure, so as to fully acquaint women with all the negative consequences and risks of abortion. “However, the main proposals put forward by the Church aim to create a society where the number of abortions would be minimal, although the ideal would be no abortions at all. Our main emphasis is not on the banning of abortion”, he said.

Responding to the concerns of Tatiana Yakovleva, a member of the United Russia faction, that the exclusion of abortion from the list of taxpayer-paid procedures will put teenage girls at risk because they will use self-induced abortion methods or resort to questionable midwives, Vladimir Romanovich pointed up that the Church understands “the complexity of the issue, therefore, it doesn’t seek a rigid ban. Teenage girls in such a predicament should have a choice in the matter…  they can resort to an expensive abortion, which carries with it extensive, and sometimes fatal, health risks, or, they can accept aid from the Church to carry their child to term. Supported by action from laypeople, the Church proposes to help women who’ve decided to keep their baby; it’ll help with the adoption of children, in cases where young women aren’t ready to raise a child”.

Moreover, in his view, society’s main priority should be “to seek prevention of the need for abortion through education for adolescents, so that the question of abortion per se wouldn’t arise. The Mystery of the relations of men and women must be a part of family life, not profane promiscuity. The Church wants society to return to healthy moral principles, to return to normal ideas about the relationship between a man and a woman, to reject notions distorted by sin”, Vladimir Romanovich said. In the pursuit of that, in paying for abortions out of the pockets of taxpayers, “we’re violating the rights of religious citizens (not only Orthodox, but also Muslims, Catholics, and believers from other faiths) who believe that abortion is beyond the pale, actually forcing people to pay for what they consider to be a moral crime”.

26 January 2011



Editor’s Note:

There’s a world of difference between pro-life and anti-abortion… to be rigidly anti-abortion, to wish to criminalise the procedure, isn’t Christian. All too many “pro-lifers” want to execute doctors who perform abortions and to treat women who resort to it as moral pariahs. There are too many Randall Terrys out there for comfort. The same people who want to criminalise abortion want to slash government social programmes (if not eliminate them for the profit of the overclass). Such schemes aren’t perfect; yes, they’re subject to abuse (what human endeavour isn’t?), but they’ve been a lifeline for many. I speak with personal experience on the matter. Christians have a responsibility before Christ for their fellow man… Christianity is communitarian; it’s not individualistic or self-centred. Here in the USA, that’s distorted by the confusion of American Sects with Classical Christianity. Such sects are wrong, they’re heretical in their religious doctrine, and their social teaching is straight from the wingnut faction of the Republican Party. Indeed, they’re not Christian at all, not in the very least. “Jayzuss” has no resemblance to the Lord Christ… we forget that at our peril. Don’t forget… Palin and Beck are Sectarian ignoramuses, not Christians… it puts a new spin on their rants, doesn’t it? Let’s follow the Church… not the Republican Party. Let’s help unwed mothers, not carry placards in bootless demonstrations. His Holiness wants to do the former; Fathausen wants to do the latter. THAT tells you what you should do, does it not?



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