Russian doctors forbidden to advise abortion of disabled babies

Moscow, November 30, 2021

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While abortion tragically remains legal and a serious problem in Russia, the Ministry of Health issued an order last week that can be welcomed by Orthodox Christians.

According to the order, doctors are now prohibited from trying to persuade parents to have an abortion or abandon their child in cases where disabilities are detected or suspected in the child in the womb, reports, an Orthodox charitable site.

These instructions are found in the methodological recommendations sent by the Ministry to the regional health authorities, “to be strictly executed.”

The document establishes the rules of communication between physicians and pregnant women, parents, legal representatives, and relatives of the child when disabilities are detected.

Health workers are also prohibited from “presenting a subjective vision of the prospects for the life of the child and family.”

Attending physicians are now required to inform patients about assistance and support measures they can receive and to provide contact information for social protection agencies, early aid services, and socially oriented NGOs.

In May, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill urged women not to have abortions, but to entrust their children to be raised by the Church if they cannot take care of them.

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