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Abortion ads must carry health warnings: Russia

Moscow: Facing the challenges of shrinking population, Russia on Friday signed into law a number of amendments on advertising which stipulates that abortion ads must carry warnings about their side effects, including loss of fertility.

The bill earlier approved by the two houses of the Russian Federal Assembly (bicameral parliament) was signed today into law by President Dmitry Medvedev.

According to lawmakers, advertisements mislead the public by creating an impression that an abortion is a simple surgery that poses no health risks.

The new law introducing amendments in the rules for advertisers require warnings that about the dangers should occupy no less than 10 percent of each advertisement.

The parliament may soon pass a new anti-abortion bill that could limit access to abortion services and toughen criminal punishment for doctors who carry out illegal abortions.

The bill also stipulates that mothers who don`t want to keep their babies will be able to leave their newborn children anonymously in special adoption centers.

More than 1 million Russian women have abortions every year, which makes the ongoing demographic crisis in the country even worse, RIA Novosti reported.

According to the 2010 census, Russia`s population has dropped from 145 million in 2002 to under 143 million, with the death rate continuing to exceed the birth rate despite government efforts to encourage Russians to have more children, including cash for buying houses after the birth of a third child.

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