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Russian abortions now outnumber births


(BP) - Russia has more abortions than live births each year, the country's leading obstetrician says.

According to Moscow News, reported 1.6 million women had abortions in 2004, while 1.5 million gave birth, said Vladimir Kulakov, vice president of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences. He said "many more" abortions went unreported.

"The appearance of a first child pushes many families into poverty," he told the state's official newspaper, Rossiskaya Gazeta. "Potential parents first try to start a career, stand on their feet and so forth."

The margin of abortions over births is better than it once was, however.

In 1990, shortly before the fall of communism, the World Health Organization reported there were 1,971 abortions per 1,000 live births, the International Herald Tribune reported in 2001. In 2000, there 1,696 abortions for every 1,000 live births, according to the newspaper.