Ukrainian members of the Femen radical feminist group have staged another naked protest, this time to defend Ukrainian women's right to abortion.

The activists climbed to the top of the Cathedral of St Sophia in the centre of Kiev and stripped from the waist up to protest against a bill that would ban abortions in the former communist country.

They rolled down a banner labelled "Stop" from the balcony and rang the bells to oppose what they called a criminal plot between the church and the state to outlaw abortion.

Members barricaded themselves inside the cathedral, a former Orthodox church converted into a state museum of religion, to stress the role of the church in the proposed legislation.

The Uniate Church, the third largest in Ukraine, and the Roman Catholic Church, have urged parliament to ban abortions.

It is legal in Ukraine up to the 12<sup>th week of pregnancy. The bill, which would ban voluntary abortions with a few exceptions, was proposed by opposition MP Andriy Shkil to boost the birth rate in the country.

The activists protested naked in Istanbul on International Women's Day, 8 March, to put the spotlight on domestic violence in Turkey.

They previously disrupted the Russian presidential vote in a Moscow polling station on election day when they paraded half naked to draw attention to widespread claims of vote-rigging at the presidential polls.