The Russian Orthodox patriarch has called for all abortions to be banned, and his Muslim colleague, the mufti, has joined the appeal, but with a provision for termination on medical grounds. This exception is in line with the teachings of the Quran, according to the mufti. In contrast, the patriarch wants all fetuses to be recognized as human beings – a personhood amendment, no less.
Obviously the Russian church has always opposed abortion, but why is it bellowing out this call to action, appealing perhaps to United Russia’s constitutional majority, at this very moment? To ride the emerging general trend towards comstockery? That can’t be ruled out: Patriarch Kirill is a very shrewd, some would say cynical, actor, who knows the meaning of “trend is your friend.”
But I also suspect that whoever suggested the timing of this anti-abortion salvo expected the imminent shitstorm to deflect the public eye from something else. We’ll find out within a week or two.
As a footnote, I don’t think abortion is the next best thing since sliced bread. It shouldn’t be dispensed right and left like aspirin. It should probably be discouraged and regarded as a last resort. But that’s as far as I would go.