Glimpses of a new dawn in Russia

Glimpses of a new dawn in Russia

Babette Francis

Russian saints

The campaign was tied into the "Day of Family, Love and Faithfulness," a holiday created by Mrs Medvedeva and the Russian Orthodox Church and centred around Pyotr and Fevronia, a couple who ruled the Murom region northeast of Moscow in the late 12th century and were later declared saints. The president and his wife went to Murom to extol family values and encourage childbirth.

Archpriest Chaplin said that attitudes in Russia are changing: "I think that we have all we need so as to change radically society's attitude toward abortion so that abortion would become absolutely morally inadmissible and this would be reflected in politics and law."

In a recent speech, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin pledged to raise the nation's birthrate by up to 30% in just three years. Putin's plan calls for spending the equivalent of $53 billion to encourage Russian families to have more children. But Larry Jacobs says that more than cash incentives and government benefits will be needed to raise Russia's well below replacement birth rate. Family & Demography Foundation, which represents the World Congress of Families in Russia, and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) has announced the launch of its latest project: The Life-Family Medical Centers Network. These will be opened in all of the major cities in Russia and the CIS.

The first 30 include centres in Moscow, St Petersburg, Novgorod, Kaliningrad, Vladivostok, Odessa, Kiev and Minsk. In some cities, multiple centres are planned.

The centres will be the first national network of modern, state-of-the-art medical facilities that will provide a complete range of services in obstetrics and post-natal care. The centres - which will never perform abortions as a matter of principle - will also operate as crisis pregnancy centres.

At the moment both Prime Minister Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev are embroiled in intrigue and controversy about whether they will run for the Presidency of Russia in the elections due in March next year. We can only pray that whoever wins, the pro-life, pro-family initiatives will continue to be fostered by them and the oligarchy which controls Russia.

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