Repeal of the Ban on Abortions

Supreme Soviet of the USSR, Decree on the Repeal of the Ban on Abortions. November 23, 1955


Translated by Amy E. Randall, Santa Clara University.

Original Source: Sbornik zakonov SSSR i ukazov prezidiuma verkhovnogo soveta SSSR, 1938-1975, volume 3 (Moscow: Izvestiia sovetov deputatov trudiashchikhsia SSSR, 1975), 306.

Supreme Soviet of the USSR, 1955, No. 22, Article 425

Measures carried out by the Soviet government for the encouragement of motherhood and the protection of childhood, and the uninterrupted growth in the consciousness and cultural level of women who actively participate in all areas of the national economic life of the country, allow at this time for the repeal of the ban on abortions by legislation. The decrease in the number of abortions in the future can be guaranteed by the further expansion of state measures for encouraging motherhood as well as measures of an educational and explanatory nature.

The repeal on the prohibition of abortions also allows for the possibility of eliminating the great harm caused to women’s health by abortions conducted outside of hospitals and often by ignorant persons.

In order to grant women the opportunity to decide by themselves the question of motherhood and prevent the harm caused to women’s health by non-hospital abortions, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR decrees:

  1. To abolish article 1 of the Decree of the TsIK and SNK SSSR from 27 June 1936 concerning the banning of abortions.
  2. To allow for the carrying out of operations for artificially terminating a pregnancy only in hospitals and other medical institutions according to the instructions of the All-Union Ministry of Health…

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