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Working paper

Birth Control in Russia: Overcoming the State System Resistance

Sakevich Victoria I., Denisov B. P.
The paper considers the changes in major proximate determinants of fertility in Russia within the framework of demographic transition theory and Bongaarts approach to fertility analysis. After World War II Russian fertility became fully controlled process. The complex interplay of abortion and contraception during the Soviet period resulted in a very high abortion level. Russian government has almost never supported and promoted family planning as alternative to abortion. However couple's preferences of small offspring appeared more powerful than the will of authorities. Current trends show that albeit lack of governmental support the society itself is evolving towards more humanistic and effective birth control. Estimates made upon recent surveys' data confirm the validity of official statistics and thus the reality of favorable trend of abortion decline.