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
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Is there a connection between pagan religion and the abortion industry?
This powerful presentation traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God and crime against humanity has produced in our beleaguered society.
Conceived as a sequel and update to the 1988 classic, The Massacre of Innocence, the new title, The Abortion Matrix, is entirely fitting. It not only references abortion’s specific target – the sacred matrix where human beings are formed in the womb in the very image of God, but it also implies the existence of a conspiracy, a matrix of seemingly disparate forces that are driving this holocaust.
The occult activity surrounding the abortion industry is exposed with numerous examples. But are these just aberrations, bizarre yet anomalous examples of abortionists who just happen to have ties to modern day witchcraft? Or is this representative of something deeper, more sinister and even endemic to the entire abortion movement?
As the allusion to the film of over a decade ago suggests, the viewer may learn that things are not always as they appear to be. The Abortion Matrix reveals the reality of child-killing and strikes the proper moral chord to move hearts to fulfill the biblical responsibility to rescue those unjustly sentenced to death and to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves (Proverbs 24:11,12; 31:8,9).
Speakers include: George Grant, Peter Hammond, RC Sproul Jr., Paul Jehle, Lou Engle, Rusty Thomas, Flip Benham, Janet Porter and many more.
Ten parts, over three hours of instruction!
Running Time: 195 minutes
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God’s Law and Society powerfully presents a comprehensive worldview based upon the ethical system found in the Law of God.
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5. Was America founded as a Christian nation?
6. What about the separation of Church and State?
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Ten parts, over four hours of instruction!
Running Time: 240 minutes
Watch over 60 on-line video interviews from God’s Law and Society.
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Foundations in Biblical Eschatology
By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.
All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?
These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.
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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
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“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.
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