HomeoldFormer Soviet President Gorchachev reveals pain at having to choose between his...

Former Soviet President Gorchachev reveals pain at having to choose between his wife and their unborn child

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A belated tip of the hat to Ben Johnson who posted about Mikhail Gorbachev, the last president of the Soviet Union before it broke up, who “reveals hidden pain of an abortion that took place 61 years ago.”  Although I missed this when Ben first wrote about it, as it happened I read his piece the day after we posted a story about Norelle Smith and Sandy Cameron.

You may recall from yesterday the happy outcome of what gave all signs of being a tragedy.

Ten years ago, Norelle, then 26 weeks pregnant, was diagnosed with toxic pre-eclampsia. Their baby, they were told, had stopped developing at 22 weeks and had no chance to survive. They reluctantly agreed to deliver the baby 14 weeks early.

Miraculously Natasha not only survived her delivery, she also defied predictions she would be severely brain-damaged and/or live, at most, a few weeks. She recently celebrated her 10th birthday as “ a healthy 4ft 8in tall and thriving in the top reading group in her class.”

A story in the UK publication “The Express,” wrote about how Gorbachev yesterday had been “forced to choose between his wife Raisa and his unborn son when doctors told him he must authorise an abortion to save her life.”

Raisa, who passed away 15 years ago, became pregnant soon after their wedding in 1953, he said. Raisa had been ill with “a terrible rheumatic fever which affected her heart” the year before, the Express reported.

Click here to read the September issue of
National Right to Life News,
the “pro-life newspaper of record.”

“The doctors said: ‘Make your choice. The baby can be born alive or not, but you will lose your wife. Her heart may not cope with it,’” Gorbachev said. “I tried to calm her as much as I could. But we had already chosen a name – Sergei, after my father.”

“The pregnancy was aborted,” an emotional Gorbachev said. “Raisa suffered so much.”

Irina, their only child, was born four years later. But Gorbachev, now 83, has never forgotten Raisa or Sergei.


Chelsea Garcia is a political writer with a special interest in international relations and social issues. Events surrounding the war in Ukraine and the war in Israel are a major focus for political journalists. But as a former local reporter, she is also interested in national politics.

Chelsea Garcia studied media, communication and political science in Texas, USA, and learned the journalistic trade during an internship at a daily newspaper. In addition to her political writing, she is pursuing a master's degree in multimedia and writing at Texas.

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