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Norway, Spain and Russia move to restrict abortion

In the last month three countries, Russia, Spain and Norway have moved to restrict abortion.  LifeSiteNews reports that "following an investigation into complaints by midwives that late-term abortions were taking place in the country in contravention of the law, the Norwegian government has tabled draft legislation that would ban all abortions after 21 weeks and 6 days gestation."

According to newsinenglish.no, statistics from the country's Public Health Institute (Folkehelseinstituttet) showed that from 2001 to 2009, five babies were aborted at 22 or 23 weeks. Between 2010 and 2011, 12 such late-term abortions were carried out. Some of the aborted children’s hearts continued beating for between 45 and 90 minutes after being born alive after abortion it was reported. 

Midwives complained to authorities that the abortion law, which reportedly only recommends 22 weeks as the legal limit to abort, needed to be clarified because they feared the abortions taking place were illegal.

Separately, on December 20th, the Spanish government agreed to roll back the liberalisation of abortion introduced under the previous socialist government that allowed abortion on demand until the 14th week of pregnancy. A draft bill approved by the Spanish Cabinet details that abortion will still be permitted in the case of rape, disability or if "the pregnancy presents a grave mental or physical health risk to the mother".

Meanwhile, Russia has not only passed a law banning abortion adverts, but PRI head, Stephen Mosher reports that "some members of the Duma (the Russian state assembly), are talking about going even further and banning the procedure itself." 

"This is an amazing turn about in a country which has long been known for its tragically high abortion rate.  Until recently, the average woman in Russia could expect to have seven abortions over her lifetime.  Even The New York Times, no bastion of pro-life sentiment, has been compelled to acknowledge that Russia’s high abortion rate was damaging the health and fertility of Russian women. As the paper noted in a 2003 editorial, “Now the Russian government is attempting to slow the abortion rate.  It is an admirable goal, given the toll that multiple abortions have taken on the health and fertility of Russia’s women.” 

Not to mention the toll that abortion has taken on the unborn, and on the population as a whole," he wrote.

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