Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law banning advertisements for abortion.
The prohibition blocks surgeries that specialise in abortion from advertising on TV, radio, in cinemas, through videos, and on all forms of public transport.
The adverts are also banned from the first and last pages of any publication for adults. If the publication is aimed at children, it is banned on all pages, as well as in the premises of any organisation aimed at serving children.
The fines for breaking the law are relatively small for individuals, ranging from around 2000 roubles (around £40) to 30,000 roubles (around £570), but are substantial for companies and any ‘legal person’, at 500,000 roubles (around £9,500).
Putin has made stemming a post-Soviet population decline a priority during 14 years in power and struck a conservative tone in his new term, praising what he calls traditional values and holding up the Russian Orthodox Church as a moral guide.
Wider availability of contraception and a resurgence of religion after the 1991 Soviet collapse have reduced Russia’s abortion rate, but it is among the highest in the world and termination is a top method of birth control.
Now they are suffering population decline.
The government has funded advertising campaigns and offered financial incentives for couples to have multiple children.
The ills of abortion are gradually becoming clearer.
This move by Putin is praiseworthy and should be emulated by other heads of state.