Ştiri pentru viaţă, February 28th, 2015
For the first time in Romania, Cluj-Napoca city hosts the campaign “40 Days for Life”, civil movement which aims to raise awareness about the value of life – unborn children’s life. For ten days now, a peaceful vigil with prayer has been held în front of the Obstetrics-Gynaecology Clinic “Dominic Stanca”, where abortions are performed. The volunteers are of different Christian denominations and change in shifts, so as the vigil can continue between 07:00 hours in the morning until 19:00 hours, including on Saturdays and Sundays.
The “40 Days for Life” campaign is the biggest pro-life community-based civic movement in history, internationally coordinated and involving over 650.000 volunteers in 559 cities from 27 countries. It started in 2007, with the following results: 9.699 babies saved from abortion, 107 people involved in abortion have converted and 59 abortion centers have been closed.
In the Romanian city of Cluj-Napoca, between the eighth and the nineth day of vigil, the pro-life volunteers’ effort was smeared by a vandalism action which led to some tension between them and the clinic workers. Overnight, on the external walls of the abortion clinic where the vigil takes place, appeared inscriptions with pro-abortion and feminist messages:
“CORPUL MEU. ALEGEREA MEA!!!” (“MY BODY, MY CHOICE!!!”) – photo below
“COPII DORITI, NU DECRETEI!” (“WANTED CHILDREN, NOT CHILDREN OF THE DECREE!”) – photo below, which alludes to the Decree given by Ceausescu, restricting access to abortion in the 1960s
We talked about the incident and about the way ordinary people in the street react to this civic action with Iulia Calinescu, Volunteer Coordinator of the “40 Days for Life” action in Cluj-Napoca.
What is the street’s reaction to what you are doing there these days?
Iulia Calinescu: The general opinion is very positive. Some people even bring us food and water.
What do you answer to people who come to tell you they disagree with your view?
Iulia Calinescu: We’ve had two or three cases when some people passed by swearing at us and talking dirty, even shouting at us. We know from our American colleagues’ experience, who have organized such vigils before, that our opponents usually have violent behavior.
For instance, there was a lady who made a big scandal, arguing that we don’t care about women, we only care about children. She said it was the mother’s body and the mother had the right to dispose of it as she saw fit. And there was a man who talked to us in a very civil manner. He asked questions and argued men should not be involved into this, because they had nothing to say about a woman’s body. He even told us it should be ok to kill a child before the age of two!
We never fail to tell people that it is men who should have an important say into the matter, especially as most abortions happen after the men put pressure on women to have a termination of pregnancy done. We tell people most women want responsibile men, who will assume resposibility for their babies.
What can you tell us about the incident which happened in the night of February 25-26, when the walls of “Dominic Stanca” clinic were vandalised?
Iulia Calinescu: In addition to “Dominic Stanca” clinic, they also smeared the walls of the Pro Vita Clinic, our local pro-life medical center. On their surveillance cameras one can see three young people approaching the clinic around midnight – two girls and a boy – and inscribing the slogans on the external walls.
I do not understand why they chose to express themselves through such acts of vandalism, as long as they know where they can find us 12 hours a day and they can tell us straight in the face whatever they have to say. The incident has put pressure on our good relationship with “Dominic Stanca” Clinic, especially as the inscriptions are very difficult to erase, requiring expensive chemical treatment and a special device. Besides, nothing can guarantee that the incident won’t repeat after we clean the walls and that the slogans won’t reappear overnight.
I think in the US they would have organized a counter-manifestation instead of damaging public and private property. But the good thing is that the incident has drawn the public’s attention and even more people will get mobilised. We never hoped to see such radical acts, but we keep going. Our purpose is to wake everybody up to the reality of abortion.