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Learning from Communist Romania’s Abortion Policy

Mihaela Mfarej | Editor

Since the overturn of Roe v. Wade in June of 2022, it’s important to reflect on a country whose past seems much forgotten, yet tells a similar story with brutal implications for American citizens. 

Prior to 1967, contraceptive availability in Romania was poor but their abortion policy was considered one of the most liberal in all of Europe. 

President of, then communist, Romania Nicolae Ceaușescu ratified Decree 770 in 1967. This decree completely outlawed contraception and abortion. Enforcement followed strict yet simple guidelines; no contraceptives were to be sold anywhere in the country and women were required to have monthly visits with a gynecologist. Their population saw a baby boom under all of the wrong circumstances. 

Corruption, surveillance and poverty were all at an all time high. Protests in Timișoara erupted, leading to the Romanian Revolution on December 16, 1989. 

The revolution lasted nearly two weeks long, ending on December 25th, 1989 with the capture, trial and public execution of Ceaucescu and his wife. 

Decree 770 was abolished December 26th, 1989, however the damage had been done. Orphanages had become overrun with abandoned children. 

John F. Kennedy wrote in American Heritage, 

“The future arises out of the past, and a country’s history is a statement of the values and hopes which, having forged what has gone before, will now forecast what is to come.”

The point of understanding the past is to be able to put the future into perspective. To


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