Studenți pentru viață, February 10, 2017
In many cities across Romania and the Republic of Moldova, March 2017 will be The Pro-Life Month 2017—“Help the Mother and the Child! They Depend on You.” Its highlight will be The March for Life 2017—“Help the Mother and Child! They Depend on You,” organized on Saturday, March 25, 2017.
The March for Life is at its 7th national edition. This year’s theme, “Help the Mother and the Child! They Depend on You,” creates the opportunity to debate on the need, possibility and efficiency of supporting women in pregnancy crisis.
This series of thematic events does not have a unique organizer, but in each town and city it has different independent local organizers from local pro-life organizations and institutions.
Here are a few aspects motivating the theme chosen for this year:
Romania is second in the world (after Russia) in terms of the total number of abortions ever made compared to its actual population: 22,742,952 legally made surgical abortions have been made—only in Romanian state hospitals—between year 1958 and June 2016, compared to a population of 19,760,000 inhabitants as registered on January 1, 2016.
Since traditional Romanian civilization and spirituality have never valued abortion, the huge number of abortions can be explained by lack of knowledge regarding the issue of pregnancy crisis and by a pro-abortion public mindset—both originating in the communist regime and ideology.
A pregnancy crisis appears when a woman considers interrupting the natural course of her pregnancy, which would normally lead to giving birth to her baby, and thinks of abortion instead. Pregnancy crisis is triggered by outside issues she cannot cope with.
The most frequent causes of a pregnancy crisis are:
the father does not want the child;
the father leaves the future mother;
the woman is financially dependent on the child’s father, who asks her to have an abortion;
the woman lives in a violent relationship which she cannot break;
the woman is unmarried and fears she could be marginalized if she gave birth to the child.
Pregnancy crisis is deepened by third-party pressure on the woman to have an abortion: 64% of the women who had an abortion felt pressured to do so, according to a study published in a prestigious medical journal.1
Most of the time, women in pregnancy crisis want to have other options beside abortion. But these options become available only if somebody else offers support. Lack of support leads to lack of options. Thus, the option of abortion becomes not a real option, but the only way out of the pregnancy crisis. The decision to have an abortion in pregnancy crisis is best illustrated by the American writer Frederica Mathewes-Green: “No woman wants an abortion as she wants an ice cream cone or a Porsche. She wants an abortion as an animal caught in a trap wants to gnaw off its own leg.”
Testimonies from women who have had an abortion (http://www.avorturiregretate.ro) and from women who have chosen to give birth to their child despite having also considered abortion (http://www.femeifericite.com) show how traumatizing pregnancy crisis is. In case of abortion, the crisis is usually followed by post-abortion stress syndrome (PASS), which could even lead to suicide. Studies show that women who have had abortions are 6 times more prone to suicide.2
The pro-abortion mindset
Liberalization of abortion on demand by the communist regime through Decree 463 of 1957 has not only impacted those who wanted to have an abortion. It has thoroughly transformed public mentality and society. This explains the peak in abortion numbers in the years following liberalization of abortion on demand in Romania:
By associating “it’s legal, therefore correct” and by presenting abortion as an empowerment offered to women by communism (unlike the previous political regime), abortion has been positively valued. This has enabled a public mindset in favor of abortion. According to it, abortion would be the only safe and efficient option in pregnancy crisis.
The last decades of communism saw restrictions to abortion, enforced in 1967 on reasons of population decline. That is why, when it was completely liberalized after the fall of communism, abortion could again be presented as women empowerment, facilitated by the new post-communist regime.
The establishment of the pro-abortion mindset in society has almost entirely eliminated the possibility to correctly understand pregnancy crisis, the alternatives to abortion and the fact that supporting a woman in pregnancy crisis is the natural thing to do. People have practically developed indifference to women in pregnancy crisis and no legal steps have been taken to stimulate alternatives to abortion.
The pro-abortion public mindset has had the following consequences in society:
lack of information about the full humanity of the preborn child in every stage of its life in the womb;
lack of information about the painful and complex reality of pregnancy crisis;
lack of sufficient support for the woman in pregnancy crisis;
invariably silencing public pro-life messages and blaming pro-life voices for allegedly being antiwoman.
Under these circumstances, for lack of information and support, women are practically pushed to abort their babies, while protecting the unborn is regarded as uncivil attitude.
In fact, abortion itself is uncivil attitude, lack of compassion, lack of respect, and lack of love for the woman and the child!
Abortion has harmed Romania more than any war
In year 2018, Romania will celebrate 100 years from its 1918 Unification. Romania’s involvement in the First World War, which ensured its Unification, meant losing 1,125,000 Romanian lives, sacrificed to make possible the Proclamation of December 1st, 1918.
But it is not into this war3 that most Romanians have lost their lives. In fact, the most Romanians ever to have lost their lives to an unnatural cause are those who have lost their lives to abortion: in total, Romania has already seen 22,742,952 surgical abortions only in its state hospitals:
7,521,100 abortions during the liberalization period 1958–1966 (9 years);
7,298,402 abortions during the restriction period 1967–1989 (23 years);
7,889,700 abortions during the present liberalization period 1990–June 2016 (26 years and a half).
The average abortion number for the first 6 months of year 2016 was 185.4 surgical abortions daily only in Romanian state hospitals.
To these data one must add the following categories of abortions unaccounted for in Romanian statistics:
surgical abortions made in private clinics;
chemical abortions prescribed in state hospitals and private clinics;
abortions made abroad by Romanian women of reproductive age who work outside the country and who represent an important part of Romania’s fertile population.
Also, the number of illegal abortions remains unknown—both during the communist regime and after 1990.
Should the above-mentioned unregistered abortion categories be taken into account, the total number of abortions would probably be double the actual statistics.
In the Republic of Moldova, whose population on January 1, 2016 was of 3,553,056 inhabitants, statistics show 2,112,158 surgical abortions in state hospitals between year 1960 and January 1, 2016. These numbers place the Republic of Moldova in 10th place in the world in terms of total number of abortions compared to its actual population. Real statistics in this country should also include chemical abortions and abortions made by women of reproductive age working abroad.
A country project: valuing the gift of life and supporting women in pregnancy crisis
Given these facts, we consider that a vital country project for Romanians on both banks of the Prut River is raising awareness and accountability regarding the gift of life, towards those who can be their future. And awareness and accountability can only be shown by supporting women in pregnancy crisis and their unborn babies.
Firstly, everybody can help a woman in pregnancy crisis! The experience of those involved has shown that support from the unborn child’s father, from a friend, from a psychologist or a member of the clergy can make the difference between abortion and giving birth to the baby.
Secondly, society can create instruments to support women in pregnancy crisis, such as:
legislating an allowance for the pregnant woman, to be granted starting from the 14th week of pregnancy; this will help her cover the special needs she has in this period;
establishing help centers for pregnant women, where women in pregnancy crisis can benefit on request from free psychological counseling and the support of a social worker specialized in pregnancy crisis;
legislating placement of special installations of the “baby box” type on the outside walls of hospitals, where mothers who consider that they cannot take care of their children can safely place their newborn babies; as the last solution to a crisis situation, these installations can prevent infanticide and abandonment of the newborn; one can find such devices all over the world.
legislating the possibility for the mother who has been through a miscarriage to have, on her request, a burial of the miscarried baby; allowing, on the mother’s request, for a proper religious burial ceremony as the one allowed for babies who die shortly after birth without having been baptized;
creating the legal options for the pregnant woman who considers that she cannot raise her child to give her baby for adoption immediately after birth: starting legal proceedings for the adoption process during pregnancy, on the model offered by US, British and Australian legislation;
legislating open adoption, which could facilitate consent for adoption from the mother, the parents or relatives who cannot care for the child anymore;
sending messages in society that all those involved in adoption are valuable, with the purpose of fighting the prevailing contempt for adopted children, for adoptive parents and especially for biological mothers and parents who entrust their children to adoptive parents when they consider that they cannot properly care for them.
Without adequate information and without a national network of help centers for women in pregnancy crisis, the abortion trauma will continue to harm children, mothers, families and the whole society.
The Pro-Life Month and the March for Life are apolitical and non-confessional events, but they welcome the participation of all religious confessions and political parties.
The March for Life does not promote legislation to forbid abortion and condemns all forms of violence against women, wishing to promote social awareness and support for the woman to give birth to the life she is carrying.
The above-mentioned possibilities are not necessarily meant to involve only state institutions, but mainly society as a whole, in its diverse forms of civil actions, such as non-governmental organizations. We cannot expect the state to do what we do not do individually and through the associative possibilities existing today! This means real solidarity, love and civilization.
The dynamics of the March for Life in the last three years has been as following:
2014: 40 cities and towns from Romania;
2015: 77 cities and towns (75 from Romania, 2 from the Republic of Moldova);
2016: 130 cities and towns (110 from Romania, 20 from the Republic of Moldova).
Starting from March 1 2017, the www.marsulpentruviata.ro website will publish details from local organizers.
Alexandra Nadane, President
Studenți pentru viață (“Students for Life”)