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Georgian Orthodox Church Calls for Anti-Abortion Law

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=26028 Georgian Orthodox Church Calls for Anti-Abortion Law Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 6 May. 13 Patriarch of the Georgian
    Message 1 of 1 , May 8, 2013
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      Georgian Orthodox Church Calls for Anti-Abortion Law
      Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 6 May.'13

      Patriarch of the Georgian Orthodox Church, Ilia II, has called on the
      Georgian authorities in his Easter epistle for adopting anti-abortion
      law, saying that it would contribute to resolving country’s “grave
      demographic situation.”

      “Abortion is a heinous murder of an innocent creature committed with a
      decision and intent of parents. A doctor is a direct accomplice to this
      crime as well. This merciless murder of infants still continues
      unhindered and there is no one to protect them – neither the sate nor
      the society,” the Georgian Patriarch said.

      “Those who do not want to give birth to a child for economic reasons…
      please do not commit this terrible sin; if you cannot afford raising
      children, the Church will take care of them.”

      “Today, when there is so grave demographic situation, we think that the
      state must adopt relevant laws to ban abortion (of course exceptions
      should also be taken into consideration),” reads the Georgian Church
      leader’s Easter epistle.

      Commenting on the issue, PM Ivanishvili said on May 5, that the
      Patriarch was right while pointing out at Georgia’s “demographic
      problems”; he, however, indicated that focus should be made on economic
      development in general in order to tackle this problem.

      “Only this issue [anti-abortion law] cannot solve this problem. In order
      [to tackle] the demographic problem it first and foremost needs economic
      development… there are other issues as well, but I think that the major
      factor is revenue for the families,” Ivanishvili said.

      GD lawmaker, Dimitri Khundadze, who chairs parliamentary committee for
      healthcare and social issues, said that he was against of an “outright
      ban” of abortion, but in favor of banning sex-selective abortions.

      “This is an issue which requires cautions approach. I think that
      selective abortion should be banned, which takes 30% share of all
      abortions in Georgia,” MP Khundadze said on May 6.

      “But I think that an outright ban of abortion is inadmissible, because
      it may lead to an increase in unregistered abortions and an increase in
      newborn mortality rate,” he said adding that his committee was planning
      to invite experts to work on the issue.

      In October, 2011 the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe (PACE)
      adopted a non-binding resolution condemning the practice of prenatal sex

      “In recent years, a departure from the natural sex ratio at birth has
      been observed in a number of Council of Europe member states and has
      reached worrying proportions in Albania, Armenia and Azerbaijan, where
      the sex ratio at birth is 112 boys for 100 girls and in Georgia where it
      is 111 boys for 100 girls,” the resolution reads.

      The resolution calls on Council of Europe member states to “introduce
      legislation with a view to prohibiting sex selection in the context of
      assisted reproduction technologies and legal abortion, except when it is
      justified to avoid a serious hereditary disease.”

      The resolution calls on Georgia in particular to study causes and
      reasons behind “skewed sex ratios” at birth and to ensure the collection
      of “reliable data” on sex ratios at birth; it also calls on the Georgian
      authorities to step up efforts to raise the status of women in society
      and ensure effective implementation of laws and policies on gender
      equality and non-discrimination.
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