The banning of abortion in Ceausecu's Romania and the warning signs: Excerpts from GCCP Textbook

Ceausecu's Romania

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The banning of abortion in Ceausecu's Romania and the warning signs: Excerpts from GCCP Textbook by Mind Map: The banning of abortion in Ceausecu's Romania and the warning signs: Excerpts from GCCP Textbook

1. Analysis of the politics of reproduction (or political demography, in regime parlance) serves partially as a focused case study of the relations between the state and its citizens.

1.1. Results of Ceausecu's policies: illegal abortion, child abandonment, infant AIDS among abandoned "surplus" babies, and international adoption,.

1.2. Other draconian practices were instituted as well: doctors were expected fo perform gynecological exams; adults without children were taxed; those who had had an abortion were manipulated into becoming police informants; fertility control was proclaimed to be the right of the state and not of women and families. The abandonment of children to the care of the state orphanages was another indicator of the deterioration of the family unit.

1.3. The United States has passed laws that invade the privacy of families and restrict the rights of women.

1.4. The United States "racial profile will be vastly different, and although whites will remain the single largest racial group in the US, they will no longer be a majority by 2055 according to Pew Research Center. Growth in the Hispanic and Asian populations is predicted to almost triple over the next 40 years. By 2055, the breakdown is estimated to be 48% White, 24% Hispanic, 14% Asian, and 13% Black.

1.4.1. The political-demogrphical policies of the Ceausecu regime contributed significantly to the social atomization and dehumanization that remain a tragic legacy in Romania.The institutional violence of the state against its citizens resulted in the denial of women's rights in particular.

1.5. It was these types of numbers that caused Romania to implement its restrictive measures.

2. The building of socialism was predicated on a productionist mentality, the underlyling rationale of which was the contribution of each citizens "according to his abilities".


2.2. The Constitution and the Family Code laid the ground work for active political-educational campaigns as well as for the implementation of positive incentives, augmented over the years by an increasing number of coercive measures.

2.3. The Constitution of the Social Republic of Romania granted all citizens the right to work and special measures for the protection of women's and youth were established by law.

2.4. The State assumed legal responsibility for the family as a way to underscore the family's significance in the development of the new socialist person.

2.5. The family's primiary contributions to the building of socialism were in the reals of reproduction of the population (workforce) and of education, with respect to the spiritual reproduction of society and the social integration of youth into society.

2.6. In the state controlled sphere, women, like minorities, were represented in positions of authority. An operative quota system paid lip service to the participation of women and minorities (Hungarians, Germans, Gypsies, Jews) in leadership roles.

2.7. Most women generally filled positions in cultural or educational institutions or in light industry-that is, positions suitable for woman.

2.8. The initial measures were instituted in 1966. The birthrate fell to 14.3 per 1,000 from a 1960 rate of 19.1 per 1,000. This decline was attributed, in part, to the liberal law that had legalized abortion and made it readily accessibly.

2.9. To correct this, a law was instituted prohibiting abortions except if the pregnancy endangered the life of the woman and no other means could be taken to save it, a hereditary disease was involved, the pregnancy was the result of rape, the woman was 45 years of age or over, or she had delivered and reared for children. There were many hidden caveats in this law. Progressive measures were instituted to encourage women to bear children, including financial allowances for families and child support benefits. Later, coercive measures were instituted.

2.10. Women who bore many children were herald was heroes of the socialist labor and were awarded decorations and minor privileges.

2.10.1. Ceausecu opposed gender discrimination. The believed, "if we speak about the creation of conditions of full equality between the sexes, this means that we must treat all people not as men and women, but in their qualifies as Party members as citizens, for which they are exclusively judged according to their work contributions".

2.10.2. He also stressed the obligation of national interest is the protection and consolidation of the family, the development of a corresponding consciousness about the growth of an increased number of children, and the formalization of healthy and robust generations profoundly devoted to the cause of socialism; in this realm women have a distinguished role and a noble mission".

2.10.3. The Birthrate Continued to Decline: Birth control via illegal aboartions, abstinence and coitus interruptus.

2.10.4. Women were differentially affected by the pronatalist policies Urban women with high education managed to acquire black-market contraceptives or arrange illegal abortions performed by medical personnel. Others, such as factory workers, bore the costs, material and bodily, of these policies. Rural women were less radically affected because of the influences of religion and local habits. Although the pronatalist policies were formally applicable to all, there seems to have been an unstated preference to increase the birthrate of Romanians buat not hyphenated Romanians such as Hungarians. Demographers were also interested in bringing under control the birthrate of Gypsies. In 1983 more coercive measures were instituted because Romanian births were not occurring at the rate desired. The age at which women because eligible for legal abortions was again raised to 45; the number of children delivered and in the care of the mother increased to 5. The monthly contributions of childless persons. The sums were subtracted from wages. The new provisions punished both women and physicians for not rectifying the birthrate problem. Physical exams to determine pregnancy and fertility were conducted. When the state punished physicians who for humanistic or economic reasons performed illegal abortions, the increase in maternal deaths or deformities due to non-medically performed abortions was assured. In Nicolae Ceausecu's Romania, women's bodies were turned into instruments to be used in the service of the state.

3. After Ceausecu's execution (1989), two phases of policy formulated that reflected the gradual formation of effective institutional procedures meant to recognize and protect the rights of individuals in society.

3.1. The Country's revolution of December 1989 liberated many women.

3.2. The day after Ceausecu's execution, abortion was legalized. Other means of birth control were unavailable.

3.3. Abortion was deemed a right of self determination. It was an essential component of a democratic practice.

3.4. The problems created during the Ceausecu regime continued to plague the country.

3.5. Aids from blood transfusions to children in the orphanages, was ignored. Married women, with their husbands' permission, became prostitutes to help sustain the household. Prostitution spreaded AIDS.

3.6. Many women after Ceausecu's execution continued to shun contraception. The propaganda was effective.

3.7. The international adoption of children became an issue. Romania became a hot spot for adoption legal and illegal. Children became an export commodity. Some women began to use childbirth as a means of production.

3.7.1. By 1991, the new President enacted a law to stop the international baby trade. Adoption was required to be done through institutional channels and the private profit motive institutions were disbanded.