On Monday night, The Referendum talk show, aired on Romania’s national television channel, hosted an edition dedicated to the topic of abortion. The show was produced in partnership with the Romanian news portal HotNews.ro.
The theme of the show was formulated as following: “Do you support the right to abortion?” I said from the beginning that the theme, formulated that way, did not allow for a correct representation of all the options surrounding the issue of abortion: pro-abortion, anti-abortion, pro-choice and pro-life. Also, this formulation showed how little known all these conscience options and attitudes are.
I wish to thank the producers and the other show guest for the opportunity to bring to the attention of a nation-wide audience such a sensitive and important issue.
Why referendum? Why debate? When we hear the arguments of those who are pro-abortion and of those who are anti-abortion, we realize they both want to help either the woman, or the child. Why are they in conflict? Because they both ignore the WHOLE GOOD, which would be EVERYBODY’S benefit, and chose to focus only on part of it. Those who are pro-abortion think they help the woman get rid of a problem, while those who are anti-abortion think they help the helpless child whose life is taken.
Pro-abortion and anti-abortion are not complete solutions.
Those who are pro-abortion want to support the woman by ignoring the child, while those who are anti-abortion want to support the child by ignoring the woman. The ones who position themselves as pro-choice rate both of the above options as having the same value, without taking into consideration their completely different causes and consequences.
Pro-life is the best option and the true solution: it supports the woman AND the child. The real benefit is the benefit of all parties involved. Being pro-life is wishing good for both the mother and the child. Indeed, being both pro-woman and pro-child is the most difficult option, but it is the only true solution.
A message for pro-choice activists:
Telling the woman “Whatever you choose is good and I support you” is not enough. Because we tell her: “You are free to choose” without checking whether her context allows her real freedom of choice. A student without competent teachers will be able to choose between learning well or not doing so? Who will teach him or her well, when there are no competent teachers? Can we choose to be healthy if we are treated by a doctor who is not competent? Can a woman in a toxic relationship choose whatever she wants? How can a woman freely choose when she is financially dependent on the father of the child and hears from him: “Get rid of it or I shall leave you”?
If you care, then look for the best solution – it is always available!
A message for pro-abortion supporters:
When you tell a woman: “There is no other solution than abortion” you make a false affirmation! (No, I do not include here the cases where abortion is needed in order to save the woman’s health and life, which are just a few.)
“There is no other solution than abortion” equates with lack of progress.
We need to search for solutions. It is natural to do so. They do so in medicine. Billions are invested in searching a treatment for cancer. And they will find it. If we invested in supporting women in pregnancy crisis a small fraction of all that money, every pregnancy crisis could efficiently be concluded by solving the mother’s problems.
Do you tell a cancer patient after diagnosis: “There is no chance for you, you will surely die”? No, we don’t!
Do we tell, as a society, to researchers who have been looking for a cure for cancer for decades: “Stop your research – survival of the fittest”? No, we don’t! On the contrary!
We tell everybody: “We can support you, fight and we shall help you win”. And we tell researchers: “Research, here are new funds, keep on researching”.
In the same way, we should never tell a woman in pregnancy crisis: “There is no chance for you and the child, you need to sacrifice yourself, or the child needs to die”. The alternative is to tell her: “Fight and we shall support you, we shall help you win for you and your child”.
As a society, we should never say: “Whoever has difficulty giving birth to a child and raising it should abort it, because we refuse to find solutions for these women”.
As a society, we should say: “We have sent people on the Moon and we want to send them on Mars, we have created artificial intelligence, therefore we can help some of us! If only we wanted to!”
Dare to believe in a benefit which is larger than what you already strive to accomplish! Dare to believe you can help BOTH the woman AND the child, dare to go beyond the self-imposed limits of the benefit for just one of them!
A message to supporters of the anti-abortion view:
Practice has shown that the welfare of the child is based on the mother’s welfare. Then a time comes when the mother’s welfare grows through her child’s welfare.
The welfare of the woman also includes protecting her of sexual abuse, which appears – more frequently than we’d like to admit – in early childhood and teenage. The welfare of the woman includes psychological and emotional care after sexual traumas, supporting her access to education, professional and compassionate medical care during pregnancy. The welfare of the woman includes helping her understand the mechanism of toxic relationships and how to avoid them or step out of them. The welfare of the woman includes creating public policies and civil strategies of support in pregnancy crisis – among them, starting the adoption procedure during pregnancy, promoting adoption as a caring and valuable act in society, supporting children and adults with disabilities.
The desired beneficence can only be accomplished through concrete actions.
There are more than 3,000 crisis pregnancy centers in the US, which offer free solutions to women in pregnancy crisis. The number of abortion clinics in the US is less than 2,000. In the meantime, Romanian women can get an abortion in almost every Romanian big city, while the number of crisis pregnancy centers is less than 20 country-wide. The numbers speak by themselves!
Identifying evil and wishing well are simply not enough if you need to ensure somebody’s welfare. We need to tenaciously build concrete solutions for every situation.
A message to those involved in the debate and in civil activism:
Faced with the reality of the 23 million children lost to abortion between 1958-2020, faced with the turmoil and suffering of mothers who went through a pregnancy crisis and faced with the turmoil of many other women confronting right now or in the future with a pregnancy crisis, it is time we understood that we can efficiently help – either the woman or the child – only if we help them both.
God loves them both and they both carry His Image in them. Let’s love and help them both!
The future is development, creativity, tenacity, courage – that is why the future is pro-life. Failure and death do not build us a future, they cancel it.
Dare to believe the future is pro-life and work to build it that way!
1. There are two things I said in the show which I’d like to clarify. Here is how Hitler legalized abortion: in 1933, in Germany, for German children with birth flaws, and in 1941 in Poland, after occupying it, but only for Polish ethnics, not also for healthy babies of German ethnicity. I shall post another article on this. The second clarification is that our crisis pregnancy centers also offer post-abortion support to women who come to us in a pregnancy crisis, receive counseling, choose abortion nevertheless, then are confronted with post-traumatic stress following the procedure. Although we do not support abortion, we never abandon women who have made a different choice.
2. Please find below some explanations on the number of aborted babies and how little the issue has been researched.
From 1958, when abortion became legal in Romania, and until 2020, official records show 23,048,862 abortions were made:
• 7,521,100 abortions in the first 9 years after abortion became legal (1958–1966);
• 7,298,402 legally made abortions in the 24 years after some restrictions to abortion were introduced (1967–1989);
• 8,139,582 abortions in the 30 years passed after previous abortion restrictions were eliminated (1990–2020).
If we also counted abortions made in private clinics (which are not legally bound to report numbers), those made in state hospitals which have not reported their data, chemical abortions, abortions made by Romanian women working abroad (most of them of fertile age), illegal abortions and abortions reported as interventions after pregnancy stopped developing, the total number may double. But lack of research leaves us only with the minimal data we have.
3. And a message to the people of faith: The show was aired on the night when the Vigil service for the Prodromitissa Icon of the Mother of God was officiated in Romanian Orthodox churches. The icon is certified to have been painted in a supernatural way. In the same way, ending abortion will be a work from above, because it is beyond the power of humankind to leave behind this huge evil. But this wonderwork from above will be made on the basis of mankind’s sustained effort – just like the iconographer worked so hard, with fast and prayer, to paint the icon, which was then miraculously accomplished overnight by an unseen Hand painting the faces.
Alexandra Nadane is the president of România pentru viață (“Romania for Life”) pro-life education and advocacy organization and coordinator of two crisis pregnancy centers in Bucharest.
Abortion is Romania is legal up to 14 weeks of pregnancy. The main religion in Romania is Orthodox Christianity (85%).