REALity Volume XXXVI Issue No. 4 April 2017
Russia has experienced terrible population problems. In recent years, it has buried more citizens than have been born. This has created a deep crisis within the country.
The crisis in demography arose for a number of reasons. In World War II, it is estimated that Russia lost 25 million people, including one million soldiers fighting the Nazis.
Other demographic problems include the fact that about a third of Russian children are born out of wedlock. More than half of Russian marriages fail, and alcoholism is rampant. Also, Russia had the highest rate of abortion in the world, officially, over one million abortions each year.
Despite both these problems, and Russia’s poor economic performance because of the decline in oil prices, Russia’s only source of income, the slow and steady increase in unemployment, and a rise in general economic stress, Russia’s annual births have, for the first time in many years, increased by approximately 4,000, and the death rate decreased by 4%.
It is interesting that the link between economic hardship and birth rates is not as strong in Russia as in other countries. For this reason, the economic sanctions on Russia placed by the west are less effective than they are in other countries. According to George Friedman, founder of Stratfor, the influential forecasting firm (now called Geopolitical Futures) in a publication dated December 16, 2014, Russian people have a capacity to endure suffering. Economic shambles is the norm for Russia, and prosperity, the exception. Russia’s strength is that its people seem to be able to endure things that break other nations. Also, Russians tend to support their government regardless of competence when Russia is under threat, which seems to be ongoing – no less due to Russian President, Vladimir Putin’s recent aggressive foreign policies.
It is also not surprising that Russia has been more or less successful in encouraging births and family because of recent changes in policy. For example, in 2013 it passed a law aimed at protecting children and family life: “The law prohibits the propagation of any activity aimed at harming the psychological or physical well-being of minors. This law prohibits propaganda promoting alternative sexual lifestyles, such as homosexuality and the promotion of the use of intoxicating drugs, alcohol, gambling and the use of offensive language. This law drove the so-called “progressive”, Western countries, including Canada, to distraction: they claimed that the law discriminated against homosexuals. They entirely missed the point that the law’s purpose was to protect children in Russia. The West’s protests were ignored by President Putin.
Russia also restricted its abortion law in the year 2012, for the first time since the fall of the communist state. Pregnancy centres have been established in every major centre in Russia, and generous funding is provided pregnant women (single and married), both prior to and subsequent to giving birth. The President of the pro-life movement in Russia is Svetlana Medvedeva, wife of Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev.
As a result of these policies, on April 6, 2016, the head of the Russian Health Ministry, Veronika Skvortsova, reported that the number of abortions in the country had decreased by 8% in 2015 and, compared to 2011, had decreased by 24.5%.
These Russian family policies have been greatly supported by the influential Russian Orthodox Church which has been extremely helpful to the government in its efforts to successfully promote life and family.
Putin contrasts a decadent West to a profoundly spiritual and moral Russia. In his State of the Union address three years ago, he expressed disdain for the West’s “so-called tolerance – genderless and infertile.” Maybe there is some truth to this.
It is unfortunate that Canada doesn’t have the foresight and common sense to implement similar policies here in order to decrease our tragic abortion rate and staggering low birth rate.
Instead of funding abortion contraception and elite feminist organizations, Trudeau should fund matters that would really make a positive difference, not contribute to our downfall.