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    DEPUTIES CALL FOR THE CREATION OF A DEMOGRAPHIC POLICY COUNCIL UNDER THE PRESIDENT

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    MOSCOW, February 26 (RIA Novosti). The participants in the Thursday round table on demography and protection of women's reproductive health, held at the State Duma (lower parliamentary house), called for creating a Demographic Policy Council under the president. They think this will facilitate the solution of demographic problems in Russia and protect the rights of unborn children.

    Alexander Chuyev, deputy chairman of the Duma committee for public associations and religious organisations, said the birth rate is still low in Russia, while the number of abortions is enormous. "Mass abortions have become a tragedy of Russia that claims up to 2 million lives of unborn children a year, by official data alone," he said. In his view, the figure is much larger, as paid abortions are frequently anonymous.

    The deputy believes that the current demographic situation in Russia is threatening the country's existence. The estimated number of population is not enough to preserve the country's territory, let alone develop it. This issue is acquiring special significance in view of Russia's proximity to countries that are the main "providers" of migrants, in particular China, said Chuyev.

    He also pointed out that people continue to flock to the relatively prosperous big cities in Russia, while the provinces are being neglected, which is creating bad demographic conditions for a normal socio-economic operation and development of the country as a whole.

    Several deputies have called for increasing the state's involvement in demographic policy. In particular, they think abortions at advanced stages of pregnancy should be prohibited and the list of accepted social reasons for abortions should be slashed.

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