Аборт в Советской России в эпоху НЭПа: официальная пропаганда vs массовые установки
The paper studies attitudes of the Soviet authorities and broader society towards the problem of abortion during the New Economic Policy in the 1920s. The communist ideologists promoted ideas strikingly different from the those of the population who still shared traditional values based on religious ethics. Even for religiously indifferent people,
the Orthodox tradition would provide moral comfort in the era of profound social changes. The official ideological message was controversial. Sexual liberties were proclaimed, including the new freedom of marriage and divorce. Women were encouraged to work, to be involved in social activities, and receive education. However, there was
almost no social and little medical help for mothers. Traditional marriage was destroyed, leading to the increasing number of abortions, both legal and illegal. Facing this result, the authorities got worried and encouraged people to produce children for the Soviet Republic instead of having abortions. On the other hand, the common people knew that having many children meant poverty and poor health for the whole family. There was almost no available contraception, and abortion was virtually the only method of birth control. In spite of the efforts of the Soviet propaganda, abortion was perceived as a nasty but almost unavoidable part of everyday life.