Russian-installed authorities in occupied Crimea said that private clinics throughout the peninsula have stopped providing abortions, the Associated Press (AP) reported Nov. 9.
The officials claimed that the clinics had "voluntarily" stopped offering the procedure, meaning abortions can only be accessed at government health centers.
The AP contacted two chains of private clinics in occupied Crimea who confirmed that they are no longer offering abortions. The clinics said the orders to stop the procedure came from management or officials.
One clinic said it has been a month since abortion services were provided at their site.
Konstantyn Skorupskyi, Russia's proxy in charge of the health ministry in Crimea, said in an online statement that the clinics had “offered to contribute to improving the demographic situation by giving up providing abortions."
Russia has been pushing for greater restrictions to abortion access under the leadership of dictator Vladimir Putin, who has cultivated an alliance with the Russian Orthodox Church. Anti-abortion messaging stresses traditional "family values" and the need to reverse the decline in Russia's population.
Officials in Russia's Kursk Oblast also reported on Nov. 9 that private clinics in the region had stopped providing abortions. Authorities in Tatarstan and Chelyabinsk previously announced that local private clinics had stopped offering abortions.
Pregnant patients in Russia who seek abortions are offered psychological consults that pressure them not to terminate.
Skorupskyi claimed that around 21% of women in Crimea who sought abortions between January and September 2023 reversed their decision after undergoing the consults.