A Russian Governor where the population is shrinking has said he plans to fire officials who do not meet pregnant women to talk them out of abortions.
Governor of the Penza Oblast Ivan Belozertsev, 60, has decided to fight the demographic ageing in his region by taking action against abortion.
Belozertsev, a member of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party, ordered his officials to have a face-to-face conversation with every single woman who wants to have an abortion.
He said: “Every woman who decided to terminate her pregnancy should have a chat with the Head Doctor of a maternity welfare clinic, a psychologist, female representatives of the local community, and, of course, with the head of the ‘municipal education’ department in order to clarify her reasons.
“If I find out that these officials are not conducting these meetings, the people that are responsible for that will be relieved of their posts.”
Belozertsev added that if the reasons behind the women’s decision are financial difficulties or poor housing, together with his team he will help the women to find a solution and keep the baby.
He stressed that his officials are not currently as diligent at fighting for every baby in the region as they should be, saying: “They do not meet every woman who decides to terminate her pregnancy.”
The governor plans to continue with his strict policies despite falling abortion rates in the region.
Netizen ‘Mila’ said: “Good luck!”
While ‘Zdravomislyashiy’ added: “His idea is a violation of a person’s rights, be it a mother or an official. I think he is losing the battle to improve the standard of living here, which is why he decided to go with such alternative measures.”