On 19 June the Ministry of Health and the Russian Orthodox Church signed a cooperation agreement. The agreement signed by Minister Veronika Skvortsova and Patriarch Kirill was published on the website of the Synodal Department for ROC Church Charity and Social Service. The agreement consists of 21 articles. Article 9 is devoted to abortions prevention and article 5 on the role religious representatives in medial institutions.
1. The Parties shall cooperate on the protection of maternal and child health, including reproductive health, promotion of family values and prevention of abortion.
2. The Parties shall promote cooperation of medical institutions with representatives of religious organizations of the Russian Orthodox Church in the prevention of abortion by:
- creation of the crisis pregnancy centers at the hospitals with the participation of psychologists and representatives of religious organizations of the Russian Orthodox Church;
- the participation of representatives of religious organizations of the Russian Orthodox Church in advising women who are planning to terminate the pregnancy, in medical institutions;
- providing places for posting information of religious organizations of the Russian Orthodox Church on the stands in medical institutions.
3. The Parties shall take part in joint efforts to provide assistance and support to pregnant women whose prenatal diagnosis indicate to the malformation of the fetus, as well as mothers who give birth to a child with developmental disabilities.
1. The Parties shall cooperate on the preparation of professionals in the health sector.
2. This cooperation is carried out by the Parties by: conducting seminars, courses, training programs and other activities in the institutions of higher, secondary and post-graduate medical education, aimed at the formation of the spiritual foundations of professional medical activities, including on the interaction of medical organizations with religious organizations of the Russian Orthodox Church;
As a response the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe tabled Written Declaration 594 entitled “Women's right to access appropriate reproductive health services in the Russian Federation”. The undersigned members criticised the 3 draft laws that are currently submitted to the Russian State Duma aiming to strongly restrict access to abortion. They called on their fellow parliamentarians in the Duma to reject the draft laws: “We the undersigned members of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly are strongly concerned about the three draft laws submitted to the State Duma of the Russian Federation aiming to severely restrict access of women to abortion. They aim: to require women to visualise and listen to the heartbeats of the foetus before being given permission to access a legal abortion; exclude coverage of abortion from the Obligatory Medical Insurance and to to prohibit the sale of safe medication that terminate pregnancies.”
Source: European Parliamentary Forum