Jay Rogers
Director:
Jay Rogers

Recent Posts

Predvestnik: The Russian Language Forerunner

Russian abortion debate grows

By Editorial Staff
Published April 10, 1997

Women who come to state Clinic No. 193 for an abortion these days may be offered something extra: anti-abortion lectures and graphic films such as The Silent Scream.

“We’ll work with those who want to help us,’‘ clinic director Irena Tsvetkova says of her decision to let Association Life, the Russian affiliate of the International Right to Life Federation, counsel in the clinic. “We’re not very experienced at this.’‘

Tsvetkova also dispenses contraceptives and family-planning advice – which anti-abortion forces generally oppose.

It is a catch-all approach increasingly common in Russia, where officials without much money or up-to-date training are trying to curb the highest number of abortions in the world.

Progress has been slow.

By the most conservative estimates, Russia had 3 million to 4 million abortions last year – more than double the number of births. The rate is roughly four times higher than in the United States, and the average Russian woman, it is guessed, has three to eight abortions.

“We have had an abortion culture, and it is changing only slowly. In the Soviet Union it was the only method of family planning,’‘ says Yelena Ballayeva, coordinator of the Open Dialogue on Reproductive Rights.

Family-planning groups like hers cite some successes in lowering abortion through public information campaigns and contraceptives, but say that changing social attitudes takes time.

Meanwhile, a small but vocal contingent of anti-abortion activists, many backed by Western religious groups, are increasingly active. They have the support of the Russian Orthodox Church, and, free of the political baggage they carry in the United State, have broad access to schools, clinics and medical institutes.

The new debate over abortion plays on deep fears in Russia since the loss of the Cold War that its soul is sick and even its physical survival is at risk.

“I am thinking of course of the future of the country,’‘ the clinic director, Tsvetkova, answers when asked why the anti-abortion message appeals to her.

Russia’s birth rate and life expectancy have plummeted, and nationalists say abortion is a crime against the nation. Vitaly Savitsky, a parliament member who is drafting a bill aimed at sharply restricting abortion and encouraging birth, says Russia is otherwise “doomed to extinction.’‘

Still, abortion is so ingrained a right that even its fiercest opponents don’t imagine a ban anytime soon.

“This isn’t Poland with the Catholic Church,’‘ sighs Olga Selikhova, director of Association Life. “We are at square one, trying to change the way people think. Here, they were taught that abortion is like having a tooth out.’‘

In Soviet days, contraceptives were scarce and of such poor quality that the dangers of crude, assembly-line abortions seemed the safer bet. The Soviet state needed women in the work force, and few had the time, money or living space to have more than one child.

Now, higher quality Western contraceptives are more available and affordable, but supplies can be unreliable and fears linger. Sex education is virtually nonexistent.

“People my age mostly hope they’ll just be lucky enough not to get in trouble,’‘ says Vika, a 17-year-old who had an abortion this summer in a new St. Petersburg clinic for teens. She said her boyfriend wouldn’t use condoms and she had heard birth control pills were dangerous.

Moreover, economic hard times continue to make babies seem like luxuries.

Women work in Russia’s lowest paying jobs and account for most of the unemployed. Housing remains tight. And state subsidies to mothers are minuscule, between 30,000 and 50,000 rubles a month per child, roughly $6-$11.

“I would be eager to have a baby,’‘ says Vika, “but I just graduated from school and I don’t have a job.’‘

Even abortion itself is becoming more expensive and difficult to obtain, Ballayeva says.

The crumbling of the Soviet health-care system means many women must go to private or regional clinics that set their own rates for a procedure that used to be free. In addition, a medical-insurance law passed in 1994 disqualified from state coverage abortions performed beyond five weeks.

“If it costs money, a lot of women can’t have it. For many Russian women, even abortion is becoming just a dream,’‘ says Ballayeva, who is helping draft a law that would guarantee the right to affordable abortion.

Last year, President Boris Yeltsin signed a law creating a network of family-planning centers that would distribute free contraceptives based on economic need. It also called for an information campaign in print and broadcast.

As for The Silent Scream, aired three times on national television, it may have the opposite effect in Russia than intended. After seeing the film, which shows in detail what happens to a 12-week-old fetus during abortion, some viewers have said they were impressed by Western hygienic standards.

At Clinic No. 193, Tsvetkova says that whatever the counseling, the decision must still be the woman’s.

“And they seem to go ahead and terminate the pregnancy,’‘ she said.

By The Associated Press


Forerunner - Home » Predvestnik - The Voice of a New Generation

Your comments are welcome!

Textile Help

Dr. Francis Schaeffer - How Should We Then Live? (DVD)

Special Two-Disc Set!

After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.

Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.

$49.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information


Amazing GraceAmazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism (DVD)

Download the Free Study Guide!

Just what is Calvinism?

Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?

This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.

Running Time: 257 minutes

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information


Freedom: The Model of Christian Liberty (DVD)

“Give me liberty or give me death!”

Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.

The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).

Welcome to the Second American Revolution!

This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.

$14.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information


The Beast of Revelation IdentifiedThe Beast of Revelation: Identified (DVD)

Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?

Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!

Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.

Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)

Running Time: 145 minutes

$17.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information


Go Stand Speak (DVD)

With “preaching to the lost” being such a basic foundation of Christianity, why do many in the church seem to be apathetic on this issue of preaching in highways and byways of towns and cities?

Is it biblical to stand in the public places of the world and proclaim the gospel, regardless if people want to hear it or not?

Does the Bible really call church pastors, leaders and evangelists to proclaim the gospel in the public square as part of obedience to the Great Commission, or is public preaching something that is outdated and not applicable for our day and age?

These any many other questions are answered in this documentary.

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information

Share |

Search this site:
View CCNow Cart/Checkout
View CCNow Cart/Checkout

RSS
Subscribe to
The Forerunner

Have The Forerunner Weblog sent straight to your inbox!

Enter your email address:

YouTube
The Forerunner Channel on YouTube


Promote Your Page Too

Featured Product
If you like the articles on this website, you may also be interested in:

Featured Articles

Live Seminar!

Real Jesus
The Abortion Matrix DVD: Update

The Abortion Matrix:
Defeating Child Sacrifice and the Culture of Death

is a 195-minute presentation that traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God has produced. You can order this series on DVD, read the complete script and view clips on-line...
continued ...


View My Stats