New Stage Of Pro-Life Campaign Starts In Belarus

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A round-table meeting “Together in defense of life” took place on 14 April in Minsk. THe previous stage of the campaign took place in 2012-2014 and lead to the number of social reasons for abortions being reduced from then to two, gave medics the right to refuse performance of abortion  and introduced compulsory psychological counselling for women willing to undergo abortion.

According to the Ministry of Healthcare, in Belarus more than 20 thousands abortions are being made annually. However, as one of the campaigners Vołha Kavałkova mentioned, the figure cannot be trusted because quite often a drug abortion is not counted. According to Rabbi Igael Yegudi, 100 thousands abortions are being made in the country every year, the Krynica.info correspondent reports.

The aim of the campaign is to prevent the killing of innocent children. But it won’t be real to legally ban abortions in Belarus in the nearest future, Vołha Kavałkova reports. Thus, according to her, due to the modern Belarusian bureaucracy it won’t be real to hold a referenedum like in Hungary, which guaranteed the protection of life since the moment of conception, neither it will be real to propose a similar legislation. Besides necessary 450 and 50 thousands signatures respectively, the Pro-Lifers may face numerous bureaucratic obstacles which will take away the result of the efforts put.

Belarusian society itself is not ready to support the ban of abortions, the campaigner supposes. “For many people it is not a problem. Most of them treat it matter-of-factly. Since Soviet era it is a norm. But we’ve only started. If our pariament was electable and if Christians who supports us got there the situations might be different“, – Vołha Kavałkova emphasized.

“Why can’t religious leaders, the Metropolitan, to propagate the ban already now?” – asked Ałbiert Kazarian, the head of the public association In Defense Of Life And Family Values.

At the same time, Vołha Kavałkova noticed, the 2012-2014 campaign has shown that the mechanism of social pressure on the authorities – through signatures collection, meetings with officials and deputies, media information – works.

The initiators of the new stage of the Pro-Life campaign also proposed to the gathered a draft of an open letter to the Chamber of Representatives, the Council of Ministers, the Administration of the President and the Ministry of Healthcare that urges the authorities to review the possibility of banning of abortions in Belarus besideds the cases when mother’s health and life are endangered. In case if it cannot be implemented, the lettere proposes to shorten the abortion period tp 6 weeks (today it is 12), to introduce a compulsory waiting period of 5 days and a compulsory lecture on possible side effects of abortions.

It is also planned to provide a requirement of a written permission from a husband for married women.

It was also mentioned that people, organizations and confessions who find it inappropriate to limit the abortion terms will gather signatures for their fulll ban.

A Pro-Life activist Julija Čyrva proposed to “hit the wallet” – to make it more profitable for a medic to save pregnancy than to abort it. She also supported the idea of abortion being excluded from the list of medical services, ban artificial fertilization and separate abortariums from maternity wards.

All these ideas were included in the text of the open letter .

Besides of gathering signatures, the Pro-Life campaign includes holding of round-table meetings,wide media coverage. It is also planned to stage demonstrations.

A psychological counsellor Taćciana Firysiuk proposed to Christian confessions to appoint people responsible for Pro-Life campaign.

The official start of the campaign is set for this May. The collection of signatures is planned for the late September, when the new Parliament will begin its work. “September is not the end. It is only the beginning”, – Vołha Kavałkova stressed.