CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition

In Soviet Russia, following De-Stalinization, abortion was legally accessible at the simple request of the woman involved, and public policies did little to encourage the use of “modern” contraception. The women of the “last Soviet generation”, who entered their adult lives in the 1980s, would often use “traditional” methods, and had on average three or four abortions over the course of their lives: on rare occasions they aborted in order to delay their first child, and most frequently they aborted in order to space out and limit the following ones. This article analyses the situated rationality of their procreative choices, and shows that the non-planning of pregnancies takes on different meanings depending in particular on the children that had already been born and the parents’ conjugal context.


  • Soviet Russia
  • Sexuality
  • Procreative norm
  • Abortion
  • Contraception
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