ROMANIA – A history of abortion law and policy since 1976

This in-depth interview starts in 1976 with the personal history of Daniela Draghici, an abortion rights campaigner for several decades now, and describes the history of what has happened to abortion in law and practice since then in Romania… [excerpts from the end of the article below]:

“Thirty years later, we are faced with pretty much the discourse that we were faced with during Communism: Women should not have abortions and contraception is not secured by the Ministry of Health,” says Draghici. “It’s ridiculous that we have to do [the work] all over again.”

In September 2020, after a Romanian woman died as a result of an unsafe abortion, the Health Ministry’s spokesperson, Oana Grigore, was criticized by activists for saying that the ministry “encourages pregnancies to be completed and does not encourage abortions.”

But Draghici says she’s hopeful: In recent months, after many talks between abortion rights organizations and the government, the Health Ministry has promised to revive 100 family planning clinics and the Education Ministry has agreed to resume discussion to reinstate sex education in schools. “Our wins are slim at this time, but they’re there,” says Draghici. “I don’t feel tired or discouraged. I keep doing it because many other people have just given up. But as an advocate, I know that the key message is: ‘Never give up.’ And that’s what I’m doing, I’m not giving up.”

SOURCE: National Public Radio, by Lucía Benavides, 1 September 2021