MOSCOW, November 25 (RAPSI) – Russian President Vladimir Putin signed off Monday on a bill banning advertising for abortion through either medical intervention or traditional practices.
The bill also addresses other areas of the country’s health system and marks the latest effort at restricting access to abortion as Russia battles to boost stagnant birth rates.
One provision raises the age at which minors do not need require parental consent for medical examinations from 14 to 15. The age at which parent’s consent is needed for treatment for drug dependency will be raised from 16 to 18.
The law also regulates the provision of HIV patients with free medication administered by federal and regional outpatient clinics.
And producers and distributors of pharmaceutical goods will now face penalties for encouraging physicians to prescribe specific drugs in exchange for gifts and financial inducements.
Abortion was a common method of birth control in the Soviet era and Russia still had the highest number of abortions per woman of childbearing age in the world in 2004, according to UN data.
A law passed in 2011 made abortion legal only up until the 12th week of pregnancy. Some exceptions for termination up to the 22nd week of pregnancy are still permitted in the event medical complications or rape.