When Abortion Is Banned: A Historic Account from Ceauşescu’s Romania
Under the rule of communist dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu, Romanians were subjected to one of the world’s harshest anti-abortion policies. From 1966 to 1989, abortion was illegal in almost all cases, although certain exceptions were authorized. Maternal mortality rose dramatically; unable to raise yet another child, parents abandoned infants to orphanages where many were consigned to neglect and starvation; the secret police weaponized abortion and intruded into the intimate lives of Romanians of reproductive age. The historic account provides context for analyzing anti-abortion policies in our current times.
Gail Kligman is Distinguished Professor of Sociology at UCLA. Her research has focused on historical-comparative issues, political culture, migration, and gender in Eastern Europe during the communist and post-communist periods. She has done extensive ethnographic research in Romania.
This program is co-presented by UCLA Center for European and Russian Studies (CERS) and the Wende Museum. There will be a complimentary reception in the garden afterwards.