Childlessness is illegal: will the new legal norm increase the birth rate?

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Childlessness is illegal: will the new legal norm increase the birth rate?
Childlessness is illegal: will the new legal norm increase the birth rate?
28 September, 16:24Society
A bill has been submitted to the State Duma to ban the spread of the "childfree" ideology among children. If adopted, the promotion of childlessness will be banned. Otherwise - a fine of up to 50 thousand rubles. Will it save the demographic situation in the country?

Irina Mishina

The document has already been published, approved by the chairman of the State Duma and sent to the relevant committee. Recall: it was introduced by the legislative assembly of the Republic of Bashkortostan and deputies Elvira Aitkulova and Rimma Utyasheva. The first is a candidate of philological sciences, the second is a gynecologist.

"Infertility virus" will reduce the population of Russia?

If the bill is adopted, childfree propaganda will be banned and will face a fine of 2,000 to 3,000 rubles for individuals and 20,000 to 50,000 rubles for legal entities. The ideology of childfree will be prohibited from being mentioned and displayed in the media, works of art and other services.

According to Senator Margarita Pavlova , this bill is necessary because of the new content on the Internet, which does not yet fall under the definition of illegal, but which poses a threat and is gaining momentum. By the way, the prosecutor's office forced VKontakte to block childfree groups.

Interestingly, on the day the bill was registered in the State Duma, the subject of “childfree” was also raised at the Eastern Economic Forum. Deputy Plenipotentiary Representative in the Far East Grigory Kuranov told schoolchildren and students about the "golden billion". According to him, in the West they want to come up with an "artificial virus that will cause infertility," because they want to "reduce the world's population to a billion." “According to their calculations, 50 million should remain in Russia,” Kuranov said. In his opinion, Russia is obliged to counter all this with traditional family values.

And what, maybe, is childfree really to blame for the decline in the birth rate and “depopulation”?

Who is to blame for the decline in fertility - men or women?

With the birth rate, we really have a problem lately. “This year, the total fertility rate in Russia per woman has decreased by 3-4%. The level of 1.50 children per woman, which has been in place for 3 years, has now gone down and approached about 1.44, which is the level of 2007-2008, respectively. At the same time, the birth rate of the first children decreased. The birth rate of second children is now higher than then, and the birth rate of third and subsequent children is more than twice as high as in 2007-2008. Large families have increased, but childlessness has also increased. The situation with mortality is still unclear. About 148 thousand people died in August, about 152 thousand are expected in September. Whether military losses will be considered and whether they will be fully taken into account is still a question”, - demographer Alexei Raksha told NI.

But recently, another factor has emerged that may affect the decline in the birth rate. This is the mass emigration of men from Russia after the announcement of partial mobilization on September 21. As it became known, 98,000 Russians left for Kazakhstan in the last week, 53,000 for Georgia, 43,000 for Finland, and 3,800 for Mongolia. And that is not all. There are no data on Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, but they also left there en masse. Emigrants - in the vast majority of men, potential fathers. This, too, is likely to affect the decline in the birth rate in the near future. However, lawmakers continue to blame childfree for all the demographic troubles. For example, Senator Margarita Pavlova assures: “Under the guise of protecting the violated rights of women, traditional family values and the role of women in the family are denigrated - the so-called radical feminism. Under the guise of freedom of choice, the refusal to create a family and the birth of children - childfree is promoted.

But first, let's figure out who the childfree are, what they profess and how dangerous they are.

"We'll have children when it's not scary"

Anastasia, an illustrator, admits: “People will have children when they are not afraid. Having children is not in this society, not in this state. Never. I watch how the healthcare system is “optimized” in my town ... My whole family and I myself worked in school and out-of-school education, and I see from the inside what a senseless and merciless nightmare comes to schools “from above”. I see how school education is not reformed, but systematically destroyed for many years. I am frightened by the attitude towards women in our health care in general and in gynecology in particular. There is no certainty about the future. It was not childfree propaganda that made me like this, it was life in Russia that made me like that. Banning so-called propaganda will not change anything. And the more they call to give birth for the benefit of the state, the more rejection it causes, and not just me. People will have children when they are not afraid.”

Edward Lisovsky, the founder of the childfree movement in Russia, explains: “I have been a childfree for about 10 years, I also opened the first community at the same time. At the moment I am in a relationship, I don’t have children and I don’t plan to, I don’t advocate for people not to have children, but I think that everyone should have a choice. After a large number of interviews, death threats were received... Vitaly Milonov said that they would put me in jail. When we had about a million subscribers, our community was blocked without justification... The question is how the mechanisms of the law itself will be implemented. It can become a kind of leverage in order to plant a person for reposting, as is usually the case. Maybe someone will write: “How glad I am that I don’t have children”, - and this can be taken as a slogan and a criminal case can be opened. The mechanics of the assessment is not clear: by what parameter will radicalism be determined.

Maria Arbatova, writer, public figure: “Childfree, from the point of view of psychology, are people who have not been able to cope with childhood traumas, for whom it is impossible to be in a “child-adult” pair again. The very thought of this possibility causes them tremendous anxiety. Hypothetically, qualified psychotherapy could help them, but they do not think in this direction.

Step towards Islamic customs

Meanwhile, many people have a question about the legitimacy of such a bill and its compliance with the current Russian Constitution. Experts are already pointing out some discrepancies. Thus, Chapter 2 of the Constitution of Russia, Art. 17, paragraph 2 reads: "The fundamental rights and freedoms of a person are inalienable and belong to everyone from birth."

“In the case of the childfree movement, Margarita Pavlova defends the rights of non-existent children to the detriment of the rights of Russian citizens who, for one reason or another, have refused to have children. Neither feminists nor childfree have ever called for anyone to kill, this should be noted separately. But the lady senator proposes to ban beliefs, which also contradicts the Constitution”, - explained ex-deputy Oksana Pushkina.

Writer and social activist Maria Arbatova warns against the possibility of "hunting" for new enemies in society. It's no secret that the implementation of laws in our country often turns into campaigns with criminal consequences.

“Childfree is not an ideology, but a subculture of people united by common views. And a significant role in this is played by the patriarchal society, which begins to press and humiliate a girl who has graduated from school with questions about whether she will soon marry and become a mother. Discriminated by such social control, women united in a subculture to support each other and position the right to their own choice. But no matter what they write in their blogs, it is impossible to propagate in the direction of childlessness. If the instinct to procreate was threatened by such ridiculous things, the human population would not survive. The very idea of the state to command the reproductive function is medieval. After all, any society is an analogue of the periodic table, and the task of the state is for people with a variety of life strategies that are in the legal field to get along in it, without humiliating each other”, - says Maria Arbatova.

In addition, childfree are often people who temporarily refuse to have children due to their profession or life circumstances. “These are actresses, athletes, ballet dancers, etc. They are also businesswomen living on a tight schedule that has no place for children. I think that this is a more responsible attitude towards children than the attitude of women who give birth to children they do not need. We are fresh witnesses of another school shooting. And it is important to remember that all these executions and other monstrous crimes are committed by unnecessary unloved children. As a result, due to some irresponsible parents, children lose their real parents. It is important for people who create ridiculous laws to realize this monstrous arithmetic”, - Maria Arbatova told NI.

It is perhaps no coincidence that this law was proposed at a time when Russia began to build close relations with Islamic states, where women in most cases are deprived of the most basic rights. It is noteworthy that Russia at the same time refuses to comment on the monstrous crimes committed in these countries by the authorities against women. Despite the fact that our Constitution guarantees gender equality. And this makes us especially sensitive to laws that restrict the freedom of women.

Well, as for the law itself, its discussion on television turned into an incident. According to Maria Arbatova, when asked who faced childfree in their lives, none of the 8 experts and two presenters who were present at the studio could answer in the affirmative.

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