Rapid growth: Romania and Moldova’s March for Life featured in prestigious pro-life podcast from across the Ocean

Alexandra Nadane, President of România pentru viață (“Romania for Life”), and Teodora Diana Paul, President of Studenți pentru viață (“Students for Life Bucharest”) – a Romanian pro-life student organization – were guests in the Wednesday edition of the Van Maren Show, a podcast featured on Canada-based pro-life website LifeSiteNews.com, the world’s largest pro-life website.

They talked about the rapid growth of the March for Life Romania and Moldova, about the challenges of defending the unborn in a formerly communist society and how they recruit young people to help build a culture of life.

Communism destroyed community involvement

In the beginning, the Romanian guests explained the difficulty of pro-life involvement and pro-life education and advocacy in a formerly communist society.

“All social activity was banned. The faculty of social workers and other like it were banned. All religious confessions in society did not have permission to have social activity. There were no social initiatives, we did not have NGOs, we didn’t have private initiatives in society to help people in different vulnerable situations”, said Alexandra Nadane.

Another problem for the pro-life movement is that abortion was restricted in the last part of Romania’s communist history.

“Because of this, people associate the banning of abortion with communism, and they believe that this was a right of women which was taken away from them,” explained Teodora Diana Paul.

”When people try to say abortion is bad, they are basically accused of being communists and having a communist mindset.”

Winning hearts is more effective than politics

“Romania and Moldova are struggling with the effect of communism, but the world is struggling with the effect of individualism. We need to get out of ourselves, to go toward other people. It’s very hard, but it’s the only way we can make a difference”, Alexandra Nadane pointed.

“Politicizing abortion is a big trap. You can win the fight with other people, but you can’t convince them.  You cannot convince them to change their hearts, to change their mentality, to do something to help women in pregnancy crisis, to open centers, to make different public policies to support women.”

“Because we can’t speak about abortion without speaking of pregnancy crisis. We can’t speak about it without speaking of the trauma of abortion. We can’t speak about it without speaking of the experience of women who had an abortion”, added Alexandra Nadane.

“The problem of abortion is not only a problem for debate or a theoretical problem. It’s a very concrete problem. Most women had an abortion because they didn’t have the support of the father of the child, because the family doesn’t help them. It’s a complicated problem.”

“And the goal of the pro-life people is to help them see the light of life, to have hope and a positive attitude to keep the child. And all initiative is important.”

“For instance, in the US, you have many initiatives to support adoption”, Nadane said. “We try to build a similar vision in Romania about the support of women in pregnancy crisis. Now we have small centres in different cities, but we need centres to help women in pregnancy crisis in every city in Romania.”

The secret of growth: small local actions

Given the social context and local people’s mindset, the host of the show, Canadian pro-life blogger Jonathon Van Maren, wanted to know the secret of the March for Life’s growth in Romania and Moldova.

“For us, in Romania and the Republic of Moldova, is very important to organize the March for Life and the pro-life activities in many communities. Because it’s very important for local communities to speak about the pro-life attitude, about the abortions, about the effect of abortions, and about how can local communities help women in pregnancy crisis from these communities”, explained Alexandra Nadane.

“We encourage people and the communities to build initiatives to help women and the child, and we encourage pro-life people from different countries around the world to organize the March for Life and organize pro-life activities in small communities and in big communities, because we see here how the mentality of people has changed in the last six years.”

Being pro-life 24/7

Teodora Diana Paul told the host how young people get engaged in pro-life activities: by participating in small community events like flower-gifting to women, pro-live movie screenings, sign painting and other.

“When they are starting to understand that these little activities can maybe save a life or at least not directly but indirectly they can save a life, I think this will encourage them to continue”, she said.

“You don’t have to be just pro-life, you have to be pro-life 24/7”, explained the leader of the pro-life students organization based in the Capital city of Romania.

“You can be pro-life in whatever your profession is or your interest is, because being pro-life is more than something that you do, it’s a thing that you believe in and you can apply that thing in whatever the domain you’re working in.”

The March for Life Romania and the Republic of Moldova is the highlight of the Month for Life (every month of March), a series of events promoting life, the beauty of childhood and support for mothers and their born and unborn children.

Local organisers in Romania and Moldova are independent of each other. They take individual responsibility for the activities organised in Month for Life and for the message conveyed.

The March for Life is held annually on March 25, the date of the Annunciation (the conception of Christ the Child in the womb of Virgin Mary), or on a Saturday closest to this day.

The number of Romanian and Moldovan towns and cities holding marches for life has grown from 23 in 2013 to more than 600 before the pandemic. Romania and the Republic of Moldova have common language and history and this has made the exchange of experience easier for the pro-life movement in the two countries.

The public policies proposed by the March for Life movement in Romania and Moldova can be found here.

Photo credit: The Van Maren Show (screenshot)

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