January 29, 2023 | 2:00pm - 4:00 pm
The Wende Museum

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.

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