The widespread reliance on abortion in the Soviet Union, occasionally even referred to as an “abortion culture”, has been documented in a number of studies. However, the notoriously high abortion rates are not the only reason why the Soviet case stands out in the global history of abortion. Having decriminalised abortion by decree in 1920, Soviet Russia became the first country in the world where the termination of pregnancy was discussed as a legalised phenomenon. Russian discussions on the abortion issue, however, did not begin with the Decree on the Legalisation of Abortion in 1920. Neither were the debates originally initiated by the Bolsheviks. The abortion question first started to attract serious attention among liberal intellectuals during the years before the First World War. Two different medical congresses, and one convention of criminologists, had voted in favour of decriminalisation in 1911, 1913 and 1914 respectively. Seeing as there were voices even in the pre-revolutionary years who called for decriminalisation of abortion, it can be questioned whether the Decree of 1920 really represented a turning point in the Russian abortion discourse. In this thesis, the patterns of continuity and change in Russian and Soviet abortion discourse between 1910 and 1930 will be examined. A closer comparison of pre-revolutionary and early Soviet sources indicates that despite Soviet efforts to prove otherwise, there was more continuity than change in the abortion discourse during these two decades. Thus, it can be argued that the Decree of 1920 was less of a watershed than it might seem at first glance.