L. Aristov, For You, Comrade Men. 1962
Translated by Amy E. Randall, Santa Clara University.
Original Source: L. Aristov, “K vam, tovarishchi muzhchiny,” 1962. Russian State Library in Moscow, Graphics Division, Inv # 9325.
Don’t be surprised, comrade men, that we have decided to talk with you about such an intimate topic as abortion. Of course, first and foremost this problem concerns women, but you should also know why abortion is harmful. Wouldn’t you try to find the most convincing words to keep your beloved woman, your true friend, from this hasty step? Would you really remain indifferent to something that might deprive her of the happiness of motherhood?!
Motherhood Women’s Greatest Happiness
The instinct of motherhood is common to all women. In what woman does a smile not appear at the sight of a child, does there not emerge the desire to caress him, to play with him?
Every woman dreams of having children With the birth of an infant this great feeling of motherhood burns with new force.
In the Soviet Union the woman-mother is surrounded by nation-wide concern and respect. We have all the conditions for educating a healthy and cheerful generation. That is why, in a country building communism, motherhood is genuinely the greatest happiness.
Pregnancy is the natural physiological condition of a woman and has a positive effect on her: as she prepares to become a mother, strength awakens in her which facilitates the full blossoming of her organism. It is not without reason that they say that pregnancy rejuvenates a woman.
And how much joy and happiness a child brings a family. Love for children persists throughout the entire life of parents. This love unites the family and makes life more full.
The violent termination of pregnancy is a gross violation of the laws of nature; it destroys the natural harmony of the organism. Abortion often makes a woman unhappy, causes harm to her health, and inflicts heavy psychological trauma, which can become the reason for family discord.
A Doctor’s Words
This warning is completely well-founded. If you sit at the door to my consulting room, you will witness exhausting chronic illnesses and prematurely aging women. The main reason for this suffering is having had an abortion in the past. Among these women there are even those who will never be able to become mothers because of artificially terminating a pregnancy.
Unfortunately, many people think abortion is a trifle — but this is far from the case. Even the least serious surgical operation is associated with well-known risk, and the operation of abortion is particularly risky because it is carried out “blindly” — the doctor does not see the part on which s/he operates, while feeling about for the internal uterine walls with an instrument. Thus it is understandable that even the most experienced surgeons can fail.
If the operation does not take place in a medical establishment, and moreover, if the abortion is done by a person without knowledge about medicine, the danger for the health and even the life of the woman is particularly great.
Hitherto, unfortunately, some women who wish to terminate a pregnancy turn not to a hospital but to ignorant persons or try to do the abortion themselves. It is hardly necessary to say that in both these cases the result can be life-threatening complications, even perforation of the uterus. Remember Natalia from Quiet Flows the Don…
There are also other complications of abortion. Usually they don’t appear immediately after the operation but after some time, sometimes after several years. They cause lengthy and exhausting suffering, and at times lead to serious consequences, such as extra-uterine pregnancy, infertility…
It is possible to encounter husbands, who having learned that their wife is expecting a child, directly or indirectly pressure her into abortion, because for one reason or another they do not want her to give birth. Let these men understand — to try to get a woman to refuse motherhood means to demand that she give up happiness and great joy, and risk her own health. Family members, who don’t have children, should not forget that abortion is a frequent cause of infertility… There will come a time when an ardent desire arises in the husband for his wife to bear a child. You see, in every man there is the longing for fatherhood. And who doesn’t know that childlessness is a reason for the break-up of the family?!
Sometimes a husband tries to avoid any discussion about the artificial termination of a pregnancy, giving his wife the “right” to decide this herself. This behavior can never be justified. Who, if not the husband, the father of the future child, should protect the health and life of a wife, the happiness of the family?
To be exact, the husband should help the wife to weigh carefully everything that is expressed against having a child. A family sometimes experiences temporary difficulties. For example, it does not have an apartment, as is the case with the woman whose words are cited below. But in our country there is such massive housing construction going on that soon every family will get a separate apartment. And naturally it is forbidden to risk one’s health due to temporary difficulties.
Abortion Does Not Happen Without Consequences
(A conversation between two women)
First woman: Three years ago I got an abortion. Then we already had a small son and we were afraid that it would be difficult to raise another child. True, I was very afraid of the pain, but when they did the abortion I felt almost no pain. Some time after the abortion I began to have complications inflammation of the fallopian tubes… Then my husband and I wanted another child very much, but the doctor said that it was unlikely that I could become a mother again.
Second woman: I would really like to have a daughter, but we don’t have a good apartment. And besides, my husband says we should wait to settle down with children. Thus I have made up my mind to have an abortion
First woman: That would serve no purpose. You will wait for an apartment, but living in it will be depressing if you do not hear the voice of a child, his laughter. You and your husband should think about this now. Later it will be too late!