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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Birth Control Criticized

Russia's poor record on contraception was condemned in a report released Monday by an advocacy group which monitors family planning issues around the globe.

Population Action International singled out Russia for using abortion as the most popular method of birth control.

"Women facing unwanted pregnancy in Poland and Russia have pretty much one option - abortion - and even that option is becoming increasingly unsafe and costly", said Sharon Camp, Population Action's senior vice president, Reuters reported.

About 4 million abortions are performed annually, the study said, Reuters reported.

Russian statistics from different agencies place the number higher at a range of 9 to 18 million abortions performed each year, with many women routinely enduring 6 to 10 abortions during a lifetime.

Abortion has been the primary means of family planning in the former Soviet Union since it was legalized for the second time in 1955.

Over the last year, independent foreign women activists have tried to educate the Russian public and doctors on other options, even providing condoms and other methods free of charge.

Poland, Pakistan, Iraq and Ireland were the four other countries named for their lack of progress on reproductive rights and population control.