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Romania

  • By: Maria-Carmen Pantea
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

The pervasive state control over motherhood during communism in Romania can be compared with the extreme demographic policies of China and Germany during Nazism. In 1966, abortions were criminalized. This doubled the birthrate in one year, and contributed to maternal deaths 10 times higher than in Europe (because of illegal abortions). As antiabortion policy became highly ineffective, other measures followed: a 1967 decree made divorce almost inexistent; penalizations for single women and childless couples began in 1977; in 1984, the minimum age at marriage for women became 15; additional taxes were levied on childless individuals over age 25; and all women of childbearing age were forced to undergo monthly gynecological examinations to identify early pregnancies and to monitor pregnant women.

After 1989, the fertility rate dropped ...

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