Anna Kuznetsova, Russia’s newly appointed children’s rights ombudsman, believes in Telegony — the theory that children can inherit the characteristics of a mother’s previous sexual partners (men who are not their fathers).
In 2009, Kuznetsova gave an interview to a local website in Penza on the topic of abortion. Described as a psychologist for “pre-abortion counseling,” Kuznetsova said the following:
“Based on the relatively new science of Telegony, we can say that a woman’s uterine cells possess information-wave memory. Hence, these cells remember everything that has happened to them. For example, if a woman has multiple partners, then there is a high chance of a weak child being born because of a mixing of information. This fact exerts special influence on the moral foundation of the unborn child. [Past] abortions, in turn, are also a serious shock for a child that’s now wanted, insofar as the cells remember the fetus’ fear before an abortion. They remember the death.”
The idea of Telegony dates back to Aristotle and ancient Greece. In the scientific community, the theory lost credibility in the 20th century. (The Nazis also embraced the idea’s racialist implications for propaganda purposes.)
Before her appointment today by President Vladimir Putin, Kuznetsova was best known as the president of the children's charity “Pokrov,” which runs projects in support of families with disabled children, large families, and families that wish to adopt. It also runs an anti-abortion program.