by Mirela Florescu, Family News, 21 October 2016
In the third televised debate of the US presidential campaign, the whole world could hear Hillary Clinton talking about abortion and the need for women to be legally provided with “freedom of choice”. She offered two examples that she considered to best illustrate the consequences of denying freedom of choice to women: forced abortions in China and forced birthing in România:
I’ve been to countries where governments either forced women to have abortions like they used to do in China or forced women to bear children like they used to do in Romania. And I can tell you: The government has no business in the decisions that women make with their families in accordance with their faith, with medical advice. And I will stand up for that right.
The abortion supporters did not bother to fact-check these affirmations, but commentators with expertise in China’s one-child policy have explained that Clinton was wrong to talk about it in the past. Forced abortions still happen in China right now. But Mrs. Clinton talks considerately about human rights in China, as she usually does about countries towards which she has an interest.
As for her affirmation about Romania, nobody fact-checked it. Apparently, affirmations made during a presidential debate about an East-European ex-communist country of 22 million people are not worth verifying.
Here in Romania, pro-abortion activists claim that 10,000 Romanian women died between 1967 and 1989 as a consequence of illegal abortions. This figure has never been supported by scientific reference.
And history has proven that, when it comes to abortion, falsifying numbers has always been part of the game – on the pro-abortion side.
For instance, Bernard Nathanson, co-founder in 1969 of the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws – NARAL –, a powerful pro-abortion organization, has later confessed how, in the effort of getting all legal restrictions on abortion eliminated in US, they lied for years on end:
The number of women dying from illegal abortions was around 200-250 annually. The figure constantly fed to the media was 10,000. These false figures took root in the consciousness of Americans convincing many that we needed to crack the abortion law.
Maybe it was this figure that Mrs. Clinton unwittingly tried to refer to.
Concerning Romania, the facts are as following:
Long before Roe vs Wade, in 1957, the communist regime legalized abortion on demand in Romania. The year 1965 saw 1,115,000 abortions and 278.362 live births for a population of approximately 19 million. The abortion rate was 252/1,000 women, the highest ever recorded in world history. Fearing demographic decline, the communist government restricted access to abortion in 1966. After the fall of communism, in 1989, the first decree of the new crypto-communist leadership was to eliminate all abortion restrictions.
In Romania, the official numbers of legal abortions are as following:
- Years 1958–1966: 7,521,100 legal abortions
- Years 1967–1989 (after legal restrictions were introduced): 7,298,402 legal abortions
- Years 1990–2014: 7,819,253 legal abortions
The total number of surgical abortions legally performed in Romanian state hospitals in 1958–2014 is of 22,638,755.
But the real number of abortions may be twice as much, since the above-mentioned number does not include illegal abortions made during the communist regime, and, after 1989, it does not include abortions performed in private clinics, chemical abortions and abortions made among the millions of Romanians determined by domestic economic decline to work abroad.
Nevertheless, according to this under-reported number (which covers only surgical abortions made in state hospitals) Romania still ranks second in the world in terms of total number of officially reported abortions related to country population (112.3%), with 21,826,608 abortions for a population of less than 20 million.
In this context, offering Romania as an example of country which is restrictive in terms of abortion (a situation which Mrs. Clinton believes to be a deficit of human rights) is a claim just as false as saying the US is a dictatorship.
By the way, the United States percentage of officially reported abortions related to its population is of only 17,4%, while the world average is of 13%! Ranking first in this top is Russia, with a percentage of 142,9%.
If we want to understand what democracy really means when it comes to the abortion issue, it may be useful to recall the fact that the first regimes to liberalize abortion were Lenin’s, in Bolshevik Russia (1920), and Hitler’s (in Germany, only for disabled children, to purify the race, and in occupied Poland total liberalization, to reduce and subdue population).
We can further infer the close relationship between abortion and communism by noticing that ex-communist countries occupy 23 of the first 25 positions in this unfortunate ranking of officially reported abortions related to population.