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Posted Thursday, September 13, 2007
Russia: A day for making babies
By Reuters

The governor of a central province told employers to contribute to a Kremlin campaign to boost the birthrate by giving couples the day off to have sex. And if a woman gives birth in exactly nine months — on Russia’s national day on June 12 — she will qualify for a prize, perhaps even winning a new home.

Russia wants to reverse a trend in which the population is shrinking by about 700,000 people a year as births fail to outpace a death rate fueled by AIDS, alcoholism and suicide.

This is the third year the Ulyanovsk region, famous as the birthplace of Lenin, has dedicated a day to encouraging couples to produce more babies.

Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company. Reprinted from The New York Times of Thursday, September 13, 2007.

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