You are not alone

You are not alone

In conditions of deep demographic crisis in Russia a record number of abortions are registered. Only one pregnancy out of two leads to a childbirth. Almost every tenth woman of childbearing age has an abortion once a year. About 1 million abortions are performed and specialists are sure that the official statistics on abortions number should be doubled.

«You are not alone» project of the Programme «Sanctity of Motherhood» is addressed to women who appeared to be in difficult life circumstances and is primarily aimed at prevention of abortions.

The main idea of the project

«You are not alone» project is the measure in extreme situation. In our opinion the most efficient work is the one that is focused on prevention of abortions by means of explanation about consequences, addressing to maternal instinct, raising the awareness of the situation, creating the positive image of the future. It’s not a simple but rather an efficient way. And these babies already exist! We are talking about keeping their lives and it’s just 6 to 8 months before their birth.

The Algorithm of the Implementation of the project

Introduction of a psychologist’s position in a women’s consultation clinic.
While a specialist is being chosen a psychologist’s office is prepared according to certain requirements.
Advanced training for specialists on pre-abortion counseling.
Introducing a position of chief external/in-house specialist-psychologist for obstetrics institutions for methodological and organizational work.

Efficiency of the project

It is the most efficient way to overcome the demographic crisis. 15–20% of women who have made a decision to have an abortion are ready to change their decision. 20% growth of  birth-rate  — it’s impossible to get this result for such a short period of time using propaganda of birth of one more baby or material incentives.
On a nationwide scale the efficiency of the project of  pre-abortion counseling can result in at least 252 thousand children’s saved lives per year (based on official data regarding a number of abortions — 1.4 million per year). As long as natural decline in population is over 800 thousand people a year the implementation of this project at the federal level will be a great contribution to solving the demographic problem and will not require huge financial support from the state.

In our work we rest on the Order of Ministry of Healthcare and Social Development of the RF #389 dated 1.06.2007 "About measures to improve the organization of medical and social aid in women’s consultation clinics". The Programme of the Federal Compulsory Medical Insurance Fund has certain expenditure items for these purposes called "Kinds of medical aid and terms of providing medical help:

  • implementation of measures on prevention of abortions;
  • sanitary and hygienic education for population including prevention rooms".

Working Algorithm

The mechanism of interaction is the following: before handing out a paper for termination of pregnancy an  obstetrician-gynecologist sends the woman to attend a counseling session with a psychologist.

Psychologists’ working experience revealed that the reasons for a woman to have an abortion are mostly of psychological nature. There are just several cases when life situations would become critical following a baby’s birth. For many women the unintended pregnancy is a stress factor. And a stressful situation makes it difficult for a person to make a conscious choice.

Pre-abortion psychological consultation is not pressure or persuasion but certain professional psychological help to women in a crisis situation. The efficiency is measured not only by a number of women who decided to register pregnancy following the psychological counseling. The presence of a psychologist in a women’s consultation clinic changes the attitude of doctors to the problem of abortions; they re-assess their role in the situation when a woman makes a decision whether to terminate her pregnancy or to keep the baby.

The programme of advanced training for psychologists

By the initiative of the Centre of National Glory and the Chief Healthcare Department together with the Institute of Psychology and Pedagogy of Development and the Krasnoyarsk State Medical University the Programme of advanced training for psychologists on " Pre-abortion counseling" has been developed and the training of the first group has been organized. The chief consultants of the programme included G. A. Shageyeva (Candidate of Medical Sciences, chief obstetrician-gynecologist of the Chief Healthcare Department of Krasnoyarsk), v. B.Tskhay (Doctor of Medical Sciences, professor, Head of Department of perinatal medicine, obstetrician and gynecology of the Krasnoyarsk State Medical University, Chairman of Association of  obstetricians-gynecologists of the Krasnoyarsk region). The programme comprises four sections: worldview, psychological, legal and medical. Here are just a few most important topics of the programme: the historical background of attitude to pregnancy and abortions, problems of personal identity of a psychologist in this kind of counseling, the repertoire of psychologist’s impacts, legal basis for a psychologist’s participation in  pre-abortion counseling, medical aspects of the problem of keeping/termination of pregnancy. All the participants of the training assessed the first experience positively.

A position of the chief external specialist-psychologist of the chief healthcare department in the Krasnoyarsk administration was introduced in order to organize and monitor the psychologists’ work on a regular basis. The selection of specialists with the high professional level and methodological support for their work (photos, drawings, DVD, printed materials) are also carried out by the Centre of National Glory. In the near future the Association of psychologists of women’s consultation clinics and "Resource Centre" will be established for improving the professional level and exchange of best practices.