March 2016 has been declared as The Pro-Life Month 2016 – “Pro-Life, Pro-Woman, Pro-Family” in Romania and The Republic of Moldova. This series of events will culminate with The March for Life 2016 – “Pro-Life, Pro-Woman, Pro-Family”, organized Saturday, on March 26th.
The message we wish to send by our choice of this year’s theme – “Pro-Life, Pro-Woman, Pro-Family” – is that the welfare of the pregnant woman is not opposed to the welfare of the baby she is carrying: actually, these two build one upon the other. Also, family, as well as society, have a lot to gain from supporting all women during pregnancy and especially those women who go through a pregnancy crisis.
For six decades such support has badly missed nationwide.
The March for Life 2016 is organized in cities from Romania and The Republic of Moldova. See all the cities at: marsulpentruviata.ro/oraseorganizatoare
Neither through the Decree 463/1957, which liberalized abortion on demand, nor through the Decree 770/01.10.1966, which restricted abortion, did the Romanian communist regime act for the welfare of the woman or that of the child. Both laws only enforced communist pro-abortion ideology. The 1966 law was only designed to stop the downward trend of natality, which meant less work force. In 1965, the year before abortion restrictions came in force, 1,115,000 children had been aborted and only 278,362 born alive; it was the year when Romania had the highest abortion rate for every thousand women ever registered in the history of the world: 252 abortions/1,000 women.
The model of communist Romania was the former USSR (The Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics), the first state in the world which made abortion on demand legal – in 1920 –, then restricted it – in 1936 –, because population decreased, then lifted again the restrictions – in 1955. Romania and other neighbouring Communist states (Poland and Bulgaria in 1956 and Checkoslovakia in 1957) followed this example and made abortion on demand legal immediately afterwards. That is why Western scholars have talked about an “abortion culture” in the communist states.
This abortion culture has determined 23 of them to rank among the top 25 countries by percentage of abortions relative to their current population, while the corresponding world abortion percentage related to total world population ranks on the 46th place in these statistics.
In 2008, 18 years after the fall of the communist regime in Eastern Europe, 4 years after joining NATO and one year after accessing the EU:
- this region is still on the first place among all the regions of the world, with an abortion rate of 43/1,000 women, much higher than that registered in other Euro Atlantic regions: 12/1,000 in Western Europe, 17/1,000 in Northern Europe, 18/1,000 in Southern Europe and 19/1,000 in Northern America  ;
- in Romania, the percentage of abortions relative to births is the highest in Europe: 578 abortions for 1,000 births, while the EU avergae rate is of 228.
Freedom regained after the December 1989 Revolution has never been used to support the most vulnerable, but it was turned into irresponsibility towards the most vulnerable. Proof of the Romanian state and society’s failure to protect their citizens after 1989 has been the Romanians’ massive migration outside the country in search of conditions they weren’t provided inside. Irresponsiblity towards children, which led to their massive institutionalization in inhuman conditions before 1989 has continued after 1989 by refusing to assume responsiblity towards our unborn children: in 1990 Romanians aborted 992,265 children.
Since 1958, when abortion was liberalized, and up to present, its incidence has been higher here than in Western countries, regardless of political regime – and even regardless of the legal regime of abortion itself! That explains why:
- at global level, after Russia, Romania has the second highest percentage of abortions relative to current population (116,5%);
- the national average in Romania is of three abortions for each woman, while in Western countries there is at most one abortion for each woman.
Thus, in Romania, whose actual population numbers approximately 19,908,574 inhabitants , 22,638,755 abortions have been registered only in public hospitals between 1958 and 2014 (the last year with available data):
- 7,521,100 abortions during the liberalization period 1958–1966 (9 years);
- 7,298,402 abortions during the restriction period 1967–1989 (24 years);
- 7,819,253 abortions during the liberalization period 1990–2014 (25 years).
At present there are 220 abortions daily only in public hospitals.
To these data one should add abortions made in private clinics, which are not reported, and abortions had by young and mature persons working abroad, who represent a big part of Romania’s population of fertile age; if we could add these data, which we don’t have, the statistics of abortions for Romania’s population may look double the actual numbers.
Practically, during the latest six decades, millions of women who faced pregnancy crisis did not have any real chances to solve the problems that generated it and millions of men involved in pregnancy crises have preferred to give up their manly duty to support the woman and the child.
In the Republic of Moldova, whose actual population is of approximately 3,600,000, statistics show that 2,098,099 abortions have been made between 1960 and 2014. For this country, too, the real statistics should be updated with the abortions had by young and mature persons working abroad.
Our objective is not to propose a legal ban on abortion. Our goal is not to pass a law forbidding abortion on demand. What we actually aim for is to raise awareness about:
- the existence, uniqueness, dignity and value of each human being starting from the moment of conception;
- different challenging situations (like unexpected and unwanted pregnancy, marital status, economical challenges, detecting a possible health problem of the child) which can all lead to a pregnancy crisis, which is a period of intense turmoil and difficulty for the woman;
- the fact that not abortion, but support for the woman is the answer to the pregnancy crisis;
- it is only natural that the child’s father, the extended family, civil society and the whole society support women during pregnancy crisis, before and after they give birth;
- the fact that a society which supports the mother and her child will also support adopted children, adoptive parents, parents who for reasonable reasons cannot raise their children and want to put them up for adoption, lonely perons, single-parent families, disabled persons, persons who need care, and generally all the vulnerable.
We reiterate this year the proposals communicated by the previous editions of Romania and The Republic of Moldova’s March for Life:
- to create legal grounds – based on the example of good practice offered by similar laws in the USA, UK, Australia – for the pregnant woman to sign the adoption papers while still pregnant and thus give the child for adoption as soon as she gives birth, with a reasonable change-of-heart moratorium after that ;
- granting a state subsidy to the pregnant woman (after 14 weeks of pregnancy, the time limit for an abortion by Romanian law) in order to cover for her special needs at the time of pregnancy.
The March for Life is apolitical and non-confessional, but it welcomes participation from all religions and Christian denominations and from all political parties.
The March for Life websites:
 Gilda Sedgh, Susheela Singh, Iqbal Shaw, Elizabeth Åhman, Stanley K. Henshaw, Akin Bankole, „Induced abortion: Incidence and trends worldwide from 1995 to 2008”, The Lancet 379.9816 (2012), pp. 625–632.