Patriarch Kirill of Moscow
© Sputnik / Sergey Pyatakov
Patriarch Kirill of Moscow of All Russia during the Divine Liturgy at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow.
The Russian Orthodox Church is continuing its crusade against abortions by proposing a law that would remove termination of pregnancy from the compulsory health insurance system and provide the service only to the poorest women.

The plan, announced by the Moscow Patriarchate on Wednesday, revealed that the Church does not want to ban abortions completely, but instead proposes that the government stop funding them.

In particular, it has suggested that women who earn more than the so-called minimum subsistence level (around $150) should be forced to pay for their own abortions.

According to the Church, Germany has a similar system, where abortions are covered by insurance only for "social reasons, medical reasons or because of a woman's extreme poverty." It specifically noted this law as its inspiration.

The document, initially proposed by the 10th Congress of Social Services in May, also suggests that women who wish to have an abortion be forced to listen to the fetal heartbeat and undergo an ultrasound examination before being allowed to go through with the termination.

Other suggestions to prevent abortions include a one-time payment to women when they reach 12 weeks of pregnancy.

The Russian Orthodox Church has long opposed abortion, and has recently fought to remove it from the Compulsory Medical Insurance Fund, a taxpayer-funded state program that guarantees the provision of free medical care for a wide range of illnesses.

Last year, Vladimir Legoyda, the institution's main spokesperson, revealed that the Church would take a "softer and more flexible position" on the issue and wouldn't demand that it be banned entirely.

Earlier this year, Metropolitan Hilarion, a senior church figure, proposed including aborted embryos in mortality statistics, suggesting that they be given human rights. The head of the church, Patriarch Kirill, has also come out against abortions, comparing it to the death penalty, and urging women who are not ready to raise children to hand them over to the church, instead of terminating their pregnancy.