The fact that Russia was the first country to legalize abortion is often championed as proof that this particular case of the legalization of abortion was not due to racial reasons. Nonetheless, there is clear evidence that racism influenced Russia’s decision to approve abortion in 1920.
Russian author Nikolai Krementsov demonstrates that eugenists were active in Russia by at least 1900 in his article, “The Strength of a Loosely Defined Movement: Eugenics and Medicine in Imperial Russia”. Also, Vladimir Lenin’s 1913 article “The Working Class and Neo-Malthusianism” discusses the question of “Neo-Malthusianism” (the promotion of depopulation policies) as the justification of the legalization of abortion. Neo-malthusianism was a primary ideology of eugenists, along with ethnically cleansing the world’s population of “inferior” humans. Eugenics is of course a racist ideology that can best be summed up as the “(pseudo) science of ethnic cleansing”. In “The Working Class and Neo-Malthusianism” we see that while Lenin rejected the racist neo-malthusianism ideology in principle he still supported legal abortion. Why did Lenin criticize “neo-malthusianism” as a justification for the legalization of abortion but still support legal abortion in principle? The answer is clear – high illegal abortion rates – as demonstrated from the following excerpt :
“In New York, 80,000 abortions were performed in one year and there are 36,000 every month in France. In St. Petersburg the percentage of abortions has more than doubled in five years.”
It is apparent that Lenin and other important individuals at the time were influenced by the supposed very high illegal abortion rates being practiced at the time and this support of course was influential in Russia’s eventual approval of legal abortion in 1920.
This is significant because eugenists had been using inflated illegal abortion estimates as the justification for the legalization of abortion very early on in their campaign to depopulate the world and this fact coupled with the observation that eugenists had been very active in Russia (hence the title of Lenin’s article) demonstrate that Russia’s decision to legalize abortion was indeed influenced by the eugenists. Not surprisingly, the justification of legal abortion due to high illegal abortion rates was used quite effectively by Margaret Sanger and her associates to influence the abortion debate in the US. Surprisingly, this same tactic is being employed by eugenists to still control the debate regarding illegal abortion estimates as evident by the observation that the primary provider of illegal abortion estimates today for the US and the UN is none other than one of Margaret Sanger’s Planned Parenthood organizations, the Guttmacher Institute.
In summary, racists eugenists used inflated illegal abortion estimates to influence influential Russians over 100 years ago, which led to the eventual legalization of abortion on Russia in 1920. This same tactic is still being used by eugenists today as justification for the legalization of abortion around the world using the United Nations as a proxy.