by Daniela Balinisteanu
Story republished with permission in Pentru viata magazine from the volume Fericiri nascute si nenascute. Marturii despre viata, Ed. Doxologia, Iasi, 2013
Photo: “Constantin Tanase” Review Theatre
Cristina Stamate, well-known actress at the “Constantin Tanase” Revue Theatre in Bucharest, is among the few public persons who is not afraid to admit she has had an abortion. After a life full of ups and downs, the actress would be happy to change some of her previous choices and start again. In the 1960s, when she had just started her career, she opted, for lack of information, to give up on the life she was carrying in her womb, so that she can carry on with her artistic career and her plans for future.
She worked in an environment where physical aspect and availability are essential and having a baby has always been quite unacceptable, which makes many women give up on the blessing of maternity. That is why, this August, at the conferences organized by Pro Vita Iasi, a department of the Orthodox Metropolitanate of Moldova, Cristina Stamate testified for her experience, hoping to help women understand that the child is not a real obstacle for their professional development.
“Ma’am,come here and take your grandson!”
“My story begins in 1967, when I was 19 and got married. I was a young bride and studied acting at the theatre institute at a time when religion was something clandestine, you had to hide the fact that you were taking counsel from a priest. There were atheist times. That is why young ladies in Romania could not take counsel. They could only act as the only woman on Earth when it came to marriage issues, so she had to solve everything in an original and primitive fashion.
It was quite late when I realized I was pregnant. I did not even know how to calculate the conception date. My graduation exam was coming. I had big plans for the future. And I completely ignored the fact that I was carrying a human person inside me… I did not even bother to wonder about it, since it was something very burdensome. So I started desperately looking for a doctor. It was an almost James Bond adventure at the time, because we both risked legal consequences. I found a doctor who specialized in brain surgery. He operated on me on the dinner table in the living room, at my mother’s home. When the intervention was over, while I was still feeling dizzy after the anaesthetic shot, he told my mother: “Ma’am,come here and take your grandson!” I did not care about it too much at the time. I had just gotten rid of a troublesome thing, but it lingered in my mind that my firstborn had been a boy.
Time passed by. Once, I had a colleague, a singer who was so beautiful that I used to say people withdrew from her way when she passed. She was beautiful and egocentric. She married and went to the US. She returned after two or three years with a beautiful little boy aged two. I would have never imagined that beautiful and successful girl could give up on her wonderful body and her success just to give birth to a child. I asked her how it was and she told me: “Cristina, I went to the doctor for a termination, he gave me an ultrasound and I heard his heartbeats. So I couldn’t do it anymore”. Then, for the first time, I thought how unfortunate of me that in Romania there were no such ultrasound machines so that I could have met such a doctor who could give me back my son whom I so foolishly lost.
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