New Russian Legislative Proposals Pose Major Threat to Women’s Rights

This month, the Center for Reproductive Rights sent a strong letter in opposition to proposed legislative changes related to abortion that, if passed, would threaten Russian women's rights, dignity, autonomy, and health. The letter was signed by a wide range of human rights and women's organizations and individual endorsees. It was addressed to Russian government leaders, including Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, members of the State Duma (Parliament) in Russia, as well as to President Dmitry Medvedev.

The letter draws out the negative repercussions of the proposed changes, which include mandatory counseling and biased informed consent requirements for women seeking abortion services, a mandatory waiting period, mandatory parental/guardian consent requirements for women under 18, and spousal consent requirements for married women prior to obtaining an abortion. These proposed requirements are discriminatory. They block access to lawful abortion services and go against fundamental human rights to privacy, health, physical integrity and autonomy and confidentiality.

The Center, together with more than 150 organizations and individuals, urges the State Duma of the Russian Federation to reject the proposals.

The letter was sent to President Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, The Federation Council of Russia, the State Duma, the United Russia party, Speaker Boris Gryslov, Minister of Health and Social Development - Ms. Tatyana Golikova, Foreign Minister of Russia - Mr. Sergei Lavrov, the Chairperson of the Federation Council - Mr. Alexander Torshin, the Chairperson of the Federation Council Committee for Social Policy and Healthcare - Ms. Valentina Petrenko, and the Chairperson of the State Duma Committee for Health - Dr. Olga Borzova.

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