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CEDAW objected to Russia’s recent measures to provide counseling to women before they resort to abortion and to mandatory waiting periods.

CEDAW referred to the policy measures as “barriers to access to safe abortion services” and called for their removal.

The policy measures were designed to reduce the abortion rate and were successful.

The Russian Federation explained how in the period of 2010-2014 the total number of abortions dropped by 24.1 per cent (to 881,400 in 2013 from 1,161,700 in 2009) and the number of abortions per 1,000 women of fertile age declined to 24.5 in 2013 from 30.5 in 2009 (a decrease of 19.7 percent).

There was a 33.8% reduction in abortion among women with their first pregnancy; 27.4% reduction for abortion for unspecified reasons; 84.6% reduction for criminal abortions.

According to the report, the reduction in the number of abortions was the result of “systematic work done to prevent them” which included an increase in the number of “women’s counseling centres with medical and social assistance offices” to 856 in 2014 from 419 in 2011.

150,000 women were helped at the centers in 2014.

[November 2015, PNCI Monthly Newsletter, ]