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Ilia II against abortion2013-05-08 15:36
How to deal with the demographic problems in Georgia? Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II proposes to ban abortions at the legislative level. Simultaneously, the Patriarch stated the Church should take care of the children from poor families. Is it possible to ban abortions in Georgia, and will this lead to an increase in unreported abortions?
Georgia ranks one of the first in the world in the number of abortions. According to the USAID, the average number of abortions in the country is 3.7 per woman. This is one of the highest rates in the world.
But the demographic situation in the country is deteriorating steadily since 1990. Currently, Georgia is on the 16th place in terms of population decline. A low birth rate, high mortality and the continuing exodus abroad have led to the fact that over the last 20 years Georgian population has decreased by almost 1.5 million. In early 90s it was a little more than 5 million (exact data on the reduction of the population is unknown, since the last census was held in 2002).
According to the international organizations if the trend continues, by 2050 the population of Georgia and Armenia will be approximately equal (and this despite the fact that the demographics in Armenia also leave much to be desired), and the population of Azerbaijan will be 3 times larger than Georgia's population.
The Georgian Orthodox Church has initiated the introduction of a special law on the prohibition of abortion. In the Easter message (epistle), Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II called abortion the greatest crime that is being committed in Georgia today in almost every family, describing them as "gruesome killing of innocents." "If someone does not want to give birth because of economic problems or for some other reason, I urge you - do not commit the sin. If you cannot raise a child, then the Church can do that," said Ilya II.
Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili immediately responded to the announcement of the Patriarch. "Catholicos-Patriarch rightly draws attention to the issue. But for the solution of demographic problems it is not enough only to introduce a law banning abortion," Ivanishvili told reporters. "It is necessary, first of all, to improve the social situation of the people through the development of the national economy. In this issue the main thing is material well-being of every family," said Ivanishvili. The Prime Minister added he was going to actively connect to discussion of all the necessary legislative initiatives.