Political Demography: The Banning of Abortion in Ceausescu’s Romani

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Political Demography: The Banning of Abortion in Ceausescu’s Romani by Mind Map: Political Demography: The Banning of Abortion in Ceausescu’s Romani

1. Socialist Republic of Romania

1.1. Nicolae Ceauşescu enacts laws purporting to protect women and youth

1.1.1. The state assumes responsibility for the family structure in order to promote the ideals of the "new socialist person"

1.1.2. Many women are underrepresented through a faulty quota system; they live under the triple burden of being workers, being head of the domestic sphere and raising children

1.1.3. 1966, a law is enacted banning abortion except in certain state subscribed cases (the pregnancy was the result of rape, endangered the life of the woman, etc) The state further promoted "growth" by providing medical care and economic incentives for those who are pregnant

2. Pronatalist Policies

2.1. Those who not only give birth to but also rear many children are given privileges by the state but infant mortality is still an issue

2.1.1. By 1983, birthrate had declined to the pre-1966 levels Many live in harsh conditions and food rations are scarce

2.1.2. 1984, on International Women's Day a new push for a "four-child plan," encouraging each woman to have at least four children Motherhood is extolled as the greatest contribution a woman can make to the state Propaganda encourages women to have as many children as possible

3. Differing Demographics

3.1. Urban women with higher education were able to procure black market contraceptives or illegal abortions Those women who worked in factories had the added burden of compulsory work with compulsory child birth and care

3.2. Women who lived in villages migrated for work and though access to abortion was possible, fear of government incarceration or other state repercussions loomed

3.2.1. The state attempted to coerce women in villages to sign reproductive contracts

3.3. Hungarian-Romanian women had greater access to contraceptives Gypsy Romani were able to procure abortions in the town of Arad, Transylvania

4. 1985 Crackdown

4.1. In 1985, addendums to the antiabortion law were added including a monthly tax on childless women 25 or older Show trials inundated the press in an attempt to dissuade women from seeking illegal abortions

4.2. In 1986, the State mandated regular gynecological exams for women working for or living in state institutions Those found to be pregnant were closely watched in order to ensure "reproductive health"

4.3. Nearly 10,000 women died between 1965 and 1989 during illegal abortions Many of these women were already mothers and their children were sent to orphanages or lived on the streets

5. Post Ceausescu Abortion

5.1. After the execution of Ceausescu in 1989, abortion becomes one again legal

5.2. By 1991, the ratio of abortions to live births is 3:1 which prompts the creation of several NGOs to educate the population on sexual health, AIDS and the use of contraceptives

5.2.1. Though the cost of abortion is raised in an attempt to dissuade some from going through with the procedure, it becomes obvious that this is only an impediment to those who may not have the resources to care for a child

5.3. Romanian government is forced to over-haul international adoption practices that essentially allowed Westerners to "buy" Romanian children

5.3.1. Many Romanian children who have been placed in orphanages received blood transfusions containing the AIDS virus

6. Repercussions of banning abortion

6.1. " Banning abortions does not stop women from having them; it simply makes abortion 'invisible.' Prohibiting abortion—as has always been the case—forces abortion underground and makes it the privilege of the wealthy, while further disenfranchising poor women, who generally bear the brunt of such policies" (480)

6.2. Pronatal policies and abortion bans have become an increasingly universal topic and their implementation through the Romanian State is only one example