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(LifeSiteNews.com) – The demographic crisis of a country now only ironically known as “Mother Russia” has long gone unaddressed in the English-speaking world.
Recently, however, the Population Research Institute (PRI) traveled to Russia to help remedy that problem – and has just released a video documentary of their journey into the former Soviet Union.
Amid the crumbling ruins of an empire that had condemned the traditional family as a bourgeois institution, the Russian people are now witnessing a population free-fall as the youngest population is being eliminated at the staggering rate of seven abortions per woman.
In the last 20 years, an estimated 80 million unborn Russian children are believed to have been aborted.
“Russia is facing a very serious demographic problem. We’re losing almost three quarters of a million people every year,” said Alexey Komov, chairman of the Moscow Demographic Summit.
Currently, Russia has a birth rate per woman of 1.2, according to Komov, whereas the replacement rate for any population is at least 2.1. Similar numbers are found in China, Japan, and Eastern European countries. According to 2010 data by the CIA World Factbook, the United States has just slipped below replacement rate at 2.06 children born per woman.
President Vladimir Putin in 2003 instituted a $9,000 baby bonus to help rescue the country from economic collapse by boosting the dwindling ranks of tomorrow’s Russians. But experts say that, while the policy has helped, history shows that only a profound renewal of culture can help a country avoid demographic disaster once the process has begun.
“Ultimately it’s a matter of faith and spirit that determines how many children people decide to have,” said Phillip Longman, senior research fellow for the New America Foundation. “That’s not something the government can really do. That’s something society can do.”
The PRI documentary explores several projects aimed to help the renewal, such as a possible new federal network of medical clinics that do not perform abortions.