Early Pregnancy and Abortion Issue in Russia

What would a young girl and a young man choose: to have an abortion or to keep a baby?

“Darling, I think I am pregnant.” The majority of men have to listen to this phrase sooner or later. This article is devoted to early pregnancy, since unexpected pregnancy is a very serious test for your girls and young men. When it happens, young people have to make very serious and responsible decisions, probably for the first time in their lives. So, what will young men and girls do in case of an unexpected pregnancy?

The answer to this question can bee seen from the case study, which was conducted by Tatiana Reznikova, a scientist of the family sociology and gender relations of the Sociology Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences. As a matter of fact, the issue that we consider in this article is only a part of a big research, which is devoted to young people’s birth control education and conduct.

A sexual relationship between young men and women is a very delicate subject to talk about. That is why, researchers did their best to have as much anonymity as possible in their questionnaires. Three hundred and twenty-eight students of Moscow and Cheboksary took part in the case study. As a result, it turned out that Russian young people’s sexual experience was just fine: 83.6% of men and 68.5% of girls had the experience of a sexual intercourse. As far as the birth control issue is concerned, 84% of men and 77.6% of girls, who have permanent sexual partners, use contraceptives. Yet, unexpected pregnancies happen anyway. The poll outlined the way of young men’s conduct in case of their partners’ unexpected pregnancy. Eighteen percent of men will suggest their girlfriend should have an abortion, while 31.5% of young men will ask their girls to keep a baby. The majority of young men  (42.5%) do not know, what they are going to do about it. The situation with girls is a bit different, for there was no girl, who said that she did not know, what she would do. Thirty-four percent of girls said that they would have an abortion, 45.3% would keep a baby, while 20.8% of girls would do something else (there was such an answer offered in questionnaires). What is that “something else” thing? It deems that it goes about some other way to stop a pregnancy, which is not connected with an abortion (miscarriage pills, for example). Forty-nine percent of girls set out their hope that their partner would offer to keep a baby. Almost the same percentage of young men (46.4%) expect the same reaction from their girlfriends. However, 11.4% of girls are certain that their boyfriends will try to keep aloof from the problem.

It is dangerous to have an abortion at the first pregnancy. Young people’s attitude to abortions is rather negative: 60.7% of girls and 69.9% of men agree upon the fact that an abortion is a very serious operation, which might result in infertility. Thirty-three percent of girls and 22.8% of men think that an abortion is a murder, while 10.6% of young females and 12.6% of young males are certain that an abortion is out of the question at all. On the other hand, girls agree to have an abortion, because they find a lot of excuses for that decision: “it is impossible to provide all necessary things for the baby,” “I have no time for the baby,” “it is too early for me to become a mother,” “I have to finish school first,” “I have no apartment, no job, my boyfriend left me” and so on and so forth. Material motives are definitely predominant. Money makes young girls make an unpleasant and dangerous decision.

If a girl gives birth to a baby, 60% of  men will agree to get married and to have a young family. Seventeen percent of men will acknowledge their fatherhood, although they will not agree to live together. Only four percent of men will refuse from the baby. Eighty-one percent of girls and 56% of men hope that parents will help them with their young families.

Author`s name Olga Savka