Abortion in Poland and Romania: two former communist countries, completely different experiences

Poland and Romania are two countries that share a lot of similar experiences from a cultural and historical point of view, but as we will see in this article, it is their differences that makes them stand out on the European scene. Both experienced their fair share of occupations, partitions and communist dictatorship and both had a chance of a rebirth after 1989. Despite their similarities, their trajectories were quite different and this is reflected in the way in which the two states also tackle sensitive issues such as abortion. While one country is very pro-life, the other is European champion at abortion. Nevertheless, the two countries have similar birth rates: for the year 2013, it is estimated that the birth rate for Romania was of 9.4 births/1,000 population and in Poland of 9.88 births/1,000 population. ( http://www.indexmundi.com/)

The following examination will look at the two countries’ overall history of abortion and try to determine possible reasons why they are situated at two opposite poles on this issue. To do this, we will look at the role of the foreign influence, political parties and religion.

Abortion in Poland

Poland is one of the most pro-life oriented countries in Europe, but few know that it hasn’t always been like this. Starting in 1932, abortion was legally performed if there were medical reasons indicating that the pregnancy endangered the life of the women. Poland was also the first country to accept abortion in the case of pregnancies which were a result of a criminal act. This law was effective until WWII, when under the rule of Hitler, abortion was possible on demand in Poland. This was not the case in Germany, where it was still considered a crime. At that time, Martin Bormann, Hitler’s private secretary and head of the Party chancellery said:

“The Slavs are to work for us. In so far as we do not need them, they may die. Slav fertility is not desirable.”( Robert S. Wistrich, Who’s who in Nazi Germany (New York: Routledge, 2002), p. 19). This quote appears also on pro-life websites and the topic has been brought up recently by Polish pro-life activists in a few interviews.

(https://www.academia.edu/795365/Polish_pro-life_movement_and_one_of_its_leaders)

In May 2010, Polish abortion activists shocked the public opinion by displaying graphic billboards with aborted fetuses and the face of Hitler, in order to remind the Poles of the Nazi rule. Nevertheless, this argument is used by isolated groups who are aiming at putting the equal sign between abortion and murder or abortion and the Nazi regime. The main reason why many Poles oppose the legalization of abortion nowadays has to do with religious convictions mainly.*

At the end of WWII, things went back to how they wore before, but later it was the Communist regime that permitted abortion on demand. Some criteria still had to be met however: the mother had to prove either that she had no means for raising a child or that the future baby was the product of a crime.

In 1980, abortion became possible only with the affidavit of the physician and since there were no regulations restricting it, many abuses took place.Things dramatically changed after the fall of communism in 1989, when new debates on the theme of abortion began. The distribution of the film “the Silent Scream” along with better knowledge on the subject, and also with the teachings of Pope John Paul II, who played an important role in the independence movement made abortion be perceived as a crime (http://www.sxpolitics.org/frontlines/book/pdf/capitulo5_poland.pdf, p. 191)

The moment when everything changed was 1993, when a new law on family planning was adopted, a law that was also sought to protect the human embryo. A legal abortion is now possible only when the pregnancy endangers the life of the mother, when there are clear indications that the fetus is malformed or when the pregnancy is a result of a criminal act.

Abortion in Poland nowadays

The issue of abortion is difficult to approach because of the emotions and contradicting views involved: while the majority agree that the law needs to be changed and that abortion based on socio-economic factors should be approved, studies show that there is a difference of opinion in feelings towards the law on abortions and the abortions themselves. Some people believe that abortion is murder and this might explain lack of action for reform.

Nowadays, the debate is between those who are pro-life and those who are pro-choice and so far no agreement has been reached between the two extremes. With regard to the pro-choice standpoint, the first argument in this camp pertains to the woman’s right to self-determination. The second pro-choice argument has to do with her socio-economic background and her inability to raise another/a child and is also related to avoiding illegal abortions which are riskier for her health. When abortion was legalized in Poland during the 1950’s, the reason behind it was that it was needed: a large number of women were dying during underground abortions. But here lies the problem: it was not a right obtained by the women themselves, it had nothing to do with self-determination or any feminist movement, it was simply necessary for the well-being of the entire society. Moreover, the communist egalitarian approach to gender roles provided no actual benefits for the women, as everything was calculated to serve the nation and not certain individuals. The changes took place only in several spheres of the lives of the people, but traditional gender roles had stayed the same and Poland continued to be a patriarchal society. (same thing in Romania, certain rights or benefits were granted, but not because women had fought for them). The fact that women were passive in receiving these “benefits” only means that they had no influence in keeping them and this is exactly what happened later.

The debates that followed after 1990’s focus on the fact that abortion is necessary especially for the impoverished women who will resort to illegal abortions because of a restrictive law that does not allow for a legal one and thus risk their own lives: “Past experiences shows that poor and helpless women will use drastic means [because of the restrictive law]…No one promoting the [anti-abortion] law mentions the easily predictable effect of the law, which will be an increase in infanticide, as was the reality before 1956”. (http://www.sxpolitics.org/frontlines/book/pdf/capitulo5_poland.pdf, p. 191)

The problem with this argument, which is in use even nowadays, is that it reinforces the idea that women are helpless and need protection (a notion that is more beneficial to maintaining patriarchy) and that women who decide to have an abortion and who do not want to use the socio-economic background as a reason are excluded from the equation.

On the other hand, the absence of a rights-based approach for so many years (especially during communism) makes it problematic for such notions to be adopted in present-day Poland, as they have not evolved out of a solid basis. The concept of human rights applied in such a fashion is something that emerged only in the last decade and it still requires time to sink in.

It is also considered that from a historical point of view, the identity of the Polish women became almost synonymous with the fight for independence. They become more than mothers, daughters and wives, they were heroines, especially during the time when Poland was divided between Russia, Austria and Prussia (18930-1864). While men were at war, women stayed home, kept the society and the national identity together. During this time the concept of “Mother Pole” has emerged and this legacy of women as “saints” has become a heavy burden; not fulfilling that role was and still is perceived as betraying the family institution as well as the catholic church. (http://www.sxpolitics.org/frontlines/book/pdf/capitulo5_poland.pdf, p. 191)

Abortion in Romania

Before discussing the current situation regarding abortion in Romania, this article will firstly present the historical development of abortion in this state. The victory of Bolshevism in Russia (in 1917) brought with it for the first time in the world a concrete measure of women’s emancipation: the legalization of abortion on demand. This law was in effect for 16 years, until Stalin, in contradiction to the principles he agreed upon 30 years before, forbade abortion. The prime reason for this measure was to counter the low growth of the Soviet population. This law remained in place until his death (1953).

As an Eastern European country, Romania had to abide by Soviet law, a situation that changed when Khruschecev took the power in the Soviet Union. In that period the 1920s law was reinstated. The Romanian government at that time started a pro-soviet propaganda, followed afterwards by the 463 Decree, decree which brought Romania the emancipation much desired. It was this Decree that empowered women and gave them full custody of their own bodies: they could decide if they wanted to keep the baby or not. (http://www.soviethistory.org/index.php?page=subject&SubjectID=1936abortion&Year=1936)

After this period, what followed was a decade of abortion that ended in 1966 when Ceaușescu, the president at that time, prohibited it. The reason for taking this measure was rooted in his fears about the impact and popularity of pregnancy terminations in the long run (abortions were more than 1 million a year). He was also preoccupied, just like Stalin, with the demographic phenomena and the nation’s future. Thus the 770/1996 law emerged, which was made to regulate abortions. There were 6 conditions that a pregnant woman had to fulfill in order to get an abortion: if she had at least 4 children (5 starting with 1985); if she was over the age of forty; if she was suffering from a serious disease, which can be transmitted genetically; if she was suffering from a physical disability incompatible with the normal upbringing of a child; if the pregnancy was putting her life at risk; if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest. (http://www.ceausescu.org/ceausescu_texts/overplanned_parenthood.htm)

Between the years 1966 and 1989, with few exceptions, abortions were strictly prohibited, and contraception as well. However, illegal abortions continued, despite the legal restrictions applied and the serious consequences on health. This law existed until 1989, when Ceausescu lost power and Romanian legislation was changed, with the introduction of a new law making abortion legal.

Romania is an interesting case to study. It is the only communist country where abortion was prohibited from 1967 to 1989 and which nowadays represents a tragic case. The procedure of having an abortion is a very controversial one, because there are no restrictions concerning the way in which it is performed and the women who go through it do not receive any counseling at any time during this process.

The only institution that is condemning it is the Church, because Christianity sees abortion as one of the biggest sins that one can commit in front of God. The maximum time limit for performing an abortion in Romania is for pregnancies that do not exceed 14 weeks. The abortion is made at the women’s request in a medical institution and according to the law, it can be performed later as well, if it is absolutely necessary for therapeutic reasons. A doctor who performs illegal abortions risks suspension.

In the case of this country, abortion can be considered a contraceptive measure, because Romania is the European member with the highest number of abortions per year. This may lead one to the conclusion that abortion is perceived here as a contraceptive measure and not as an extreme, emergency measure. Having the highest rate of abortion in the EU, it is a paradoxical country, which shifted from one extreme to the other.

Romania has to make changes in its legislation concerning abortion. If a woman wants to have this procedure she should benefit from the best medical care, where she is offered therapy before and after the abortion. One might blame the education system for “the normality” of abortions. If people would be more informed on this topic, than the frequency of abortions would likely diminish.

 Conclusions

The two countries are perfect examples of two extreme situations. While in Poland abortion was legalized because of necessity and not because women would have necessarily fought for it, in Romania it was banned because of Ceaușescu’s desire to build a larger nation. The Polish culture was and still is bound to value family traditions, the idea of community and of a unified society and that women are seen as “mothers of the nation.” Moreover, the Nazi regime left deep scars that will take several more years to heal.

Romania is at the other extreme, having for 22 years a dictator with grandiose plans for the country: release it from national debt (at his death, in 1989, Romania had zero national debt), increase the natality and have more citizens who “fight” for the communist cause. In order to achieve these goals, he created a nation of impoverished people, who lived in fear of the system and in fear of each other. The Romanian mothers of the nation were compensated the more children they had. The title of “Heroic Mother” was awarded to the women who had at least ten children and it was accompanied by a monthly subvention of 500 Lei. This honorific distinction was not enough motivation for the impoverished families to have more children and illegal abortion were at its peek during this time. Therefore, when communism fell and all the ideals connected to it were rejected, the notion of “Heroic Mother” had no more value as well.

Although the socio-economic background is fairly similar in the two countries, their extreme approaches to abortion might be a result of two factors. First of all, the way in which the countries put an end to their communist regimes was very different: in Romania, the end of 1989 brought a bloody revolution, followed by Ceaușescu’s execution. The kangaroo trial that the President faced as well as his shooting were broadcasted on national television. Afterwards, Romania had no viable alternative for the communist party, while in Poland, the anti-communist Solidarity Party won the free Polish elections and communism was overthrown in a democratic way. While Romania was in a period of confusion and sunk even deeper in corruption, Poland was finding its way out of the dark times and adopted good, healthy reforms right from the start.

Second of all, while the Orthodox Church was fairly obedient to the communist state, the Catholic Church was a strong advocate for anti-corruption and anti-communism in Poland. Looking at how different cultures deal with the issue of abortion, one obvious pattern is that the strong Catholic Church has a clear say in how the legislation is shaped not only Poland, but all the countries in which it is the national religion.

In Romania, after the fall of the communism, the Orthodox Church – dwarfed by Ceausescu’s regime – started to get strength again, but not enough to impose its views into politics. On the other hand, Pope John Paul II was not only an international figure, but was and still is one of the most beloved people of Poland. He had a great role in the collapse of Communism and therefore, the Catholic religion in itself was regarded as the savior of the nation. Furthermore, since abortion is considered a sin and feminism an attempt to destabilize family life, women’s voices were not heard then and have a hard time being heard nowadays as well.

The two countries have yet to find balance and although they have opposite problems with abortion, it is clear that sexual education needs to be a priority for both of them. Catholic Poland treats sex as a taboo and illegal abortions represent the unseen struggle of Polish women. In Romania on the other hand, the very high number of abortions performed each year shows that people, women and men, are not preoccupied with safe contraception, which also means a lack of concern in regard to the sexually transmitted diseases. Both countries are in a critical time, when things have to change. Only time will tell in what direction things will go and how long it will take to get there.

Bibliography:

http://biblioteca.regielive.ro/proiecte/sociologie/avortul-21015.html

http://www.criticatac.ro/15741/criminalizarea-avortului-lipsa-justiiei-reproductive/

http://www.ceausescu.org/ceausescu_texts/overplanned_parenthood.htm)

Data from http://www.indexmundi.com/, last accessed February 2014

http://www.soviethistory.org/index.php?page=subject&SubjectID=1936abortion&Year=1936

Waniek , Danuta. “The Struggle for abortion Rights in Poland”, at

http://www.sxpolitics.org/frontlines/book/pdf/capitulo5_poland.pdf.

Wistrich S. Robert S. Who’s who in Nazi Germany (New York: Routledge, 2002)

* article updated on 6th of April 2014

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on 22 February 2014

14 persons shared their opinion! Join the discussion!

  • Martyna said on Reply

    Very good article. Great job, girls! 🙂

  • Patricia Papuc said on Reply

    Thank you a lot Martyna.

  • Raluca said on Reply

    Very interesting facts about Poland!

  • nice seo guys said on Reply

    y7MGNl Looking forward to reading more. Great blog.Really thank you! Great.

    • Patricia Papuc said on Reply

      thanks for your comments. please join us in our discussions.

  • Ida said on Reply

    The perspective of the article is pretty original, but as a Pole I feel I the need to comment on some issues which do not describe the situation with the abortion in my country well.
    The actual law on abortion is a result of intensive debates, a kind of compromise that doesn’t satisfy anyone. Pro-life activists would like to ban abortion all abortion. There is a big pro-life movement in the Church which used to be and still is a great authority and has considerable influence on politics. It’s not true that the current legislation has anything to do with Hitler’s ideas. Despite living on a big city, I don’t remember the campaign with Hitler’s face. Maybe it was a small-scale one. The vast majority of pro-life activists link themselves to Church’s teaching, only a few use solely non-religious arguments (impossibility of setting the border between fetus and child – an argument that is also used by Catholic activists).
    On the other side, although some pro-choice activists underline the high cost of providing for a decent life for a child, no one speaks about abortion in the context of limiting poverty. Such argumentation just wouldn’t have a social support. For most of people happy family with children is the biggest value. There is a big ostracism of women who prefer career to maternity.
    Lastly, I’ve never heard of anyone speaking about abortion in the context of “helping woman in need” or linking it to patriarchy. This is a conflict between the child’s right to life (those pro-choice use the term ‘fetus’ much more often) and woman’s right to decide whether she can afford having a child.
    To sum up, historical analyses of development of legislation are often interesting, but here too much focus was put on it. Poles today don’t care about communist attitude to abortion. There is just religious and godless attitude of, in other names, backward and liberal attitude.

  • Adina Nistor said on Reply

    Hello, Ida and welcome to the debate! Thank you very much for your comment, it’s a very interesting and useful perspective! I will try to answer to the questions that you pose. First of all you say that the current legislation has nothing to do with Hitler. Hitler is obviously not the main influence here, especially at present times, but the Nazi regime did have a great impact on Poland, even in this aspect of life and it is a historical fact that abortion was legal during that period of time. And that the past influences the present and this issue cannot be taken out of a certain context. Therefore, I think it cannot be said that there is no connection at all between the present and what happened only a few decades ago. The quote provided in the text, by Martin Borman is found on the pro-life website http://www.stop-abortion.org/index.php/about-us/83-the-history-of-abortion-in-poland as well. I believe that you are right, that common Polish people do not necessarily have this in mind, but pro-life organizations do use it still, among the other arguments. The campaign mentioned was not in a very small town, but in Poznan (one of the largest in Poland) and it became international news (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/poland/7354284/Hitler-abortion-poster-sparks-anger-in-Poland.html and http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/hilter-appears-anti-abortion-posters-poland-article-1.174494). I believe that Polish people do have strong emotions towards the past. As an international student I have taken place in a few conferences, seminars and extra-curricular activities and I have to tell you that they were all connected to the Holocaust and the Uprising movement. Perhaps not all Polish people give it as much importance, but it was a great part of what was presented to me while living there for four years. The link to patriarchy is the one found by me mostly in the sources quoted in the article and it is mostly an argument of the feminist pro-choice argument. Of course, the importance of such aspects has to do with whom you ask and different organizations will rank them accordingly. But I see your point, the article is a brief analysis of the historical situation mostly. Thank you again for your comment, it made me reflect more on the issue.

  • Ida said on Reply

    Dear Adina,
    thank you for your reply. I’d like to clarify some of my points in the light of what you’ve written.
    Let me begin with a general note: you say you’re international student and you base your opinions on the experiences you have from conferences etc. I also have some international educational experiences (I passed International Baccalaureate, I took part in European Youth Parliament, in Model of United Nations as well as in real UN session) and friends from abroad and I’ve noted that internationally-oriented students in their analyses tend to exaggerate the meaning of the events, documents, pieces of information etc. You may find a fact that shocks you, but unless you know the society, you will have difficulties with assessing its real impact on the lives of normal citizens. It seems for me that you felt into this trap.
    You are right when you say that the history is very important for Poles, some people even see it as an excessive “martyrology” (since Polish history is abundant of tragic events) and tell to focus on the present times and the future more. There are always great celebrations in the anniversary of the Uprising and commemoration of Holocaust victims.
    However, my point was that Hitler’s abortion legislation has nothing to do with the current legislation. Note two facts. Firstly, it was introduced on 9.03.1943 and on the very beginning of January 1944 the Soviets entered and begun their own occupation. Therefore, the Hitler’s legislation didn’t even have time to be “promoted” by those who introduced it. Secondly, no invaded society identifies itself with the legislation forced by the occupant.
    As for now, the general social attitude towards Germans is much more positive than towards Russians who are blamed for cc. 50 of poverty, destruction of economy and persecutions. Anyway, when Poland regained independency in 1989, the founders of the new system were full aware that they have to build it from the very beginning, that we have little positive experience to take advantage of (in 1795 divided Poland disappeared from the maps of Europe, from 1918 to 1939 we didn’t manage to create strong civic institutions send we had quasi-dictatorship under Marshal Piłsudski and after war we became a Soviet satellite state). So both the authors of so-called Little Constitution of 1992 and the current one from 1997 built up the state from the beginning, cutting the links with the past rather than cultivating them. The debate on law on abortion was about “what is acceptable in democratic state”, definitely not “what we had before”.
    As for the poster – yeah, that probably was a big shock, but just for a few days. If you didn’t follow the news, you wouldn’t know about it. My point is that it happened once and now no one remembers about it. This is also an example of exaggerating facts.
    What refers to arguments, I think you are right, a lot depends on who’s speaking. My notion from the observation of public debate is that discussions usually become more vivid (and attract more “extremist” and “clamorous” speakers) after some scandals related to abortion, such as when 12-year-old girl who got pregnant after being raped at school couldn’t find an hospital to have an abortion, she was refused everywhere. As usually in those cases (and in most public debates on controversial issues in Poland) there are more emotions and common insults than rational arguments.

    Regards,
    Ida

  • Christian said on Reply

    Great article to read and also to think about it. Ireland is also a country where abortion is outlawed though recently the Parliament decided to put into law some changes: the abortion can be performed if the mother’s life is in danger. You are not allowed for an abortion if your pregnancy is the result of a rape.
    I think Ireland, is, at the moment, a country full of very, very sad stories about this subject. Last year an Indian national, a young doctor called Savita, who lived in Galway, lost her life because she wasn’t permitted for an abortion, even the foetus was dead inside of her. The sad story made the international press headlines.
    Recently I read about other sad story from Ireland: http://www.thejournal.ie/readme/fatal-foetal-abnormality-tfmr-terminations-ireland-1378064-Mar2014/?utm_source=shortlink
    Heartbreaking stories, unfortunately.

    Good luck with your project!

    • Aoife said on Reply

      A very interesting and thought-provoking article, thank you for sharing Adina and Patricia. Christian, I fully agree with your comment. As an Irish(wo)man myself, I was very disappointed at the recent legislative changes introduced last year. Fundamental issues of personal autonomy and women’s reproductive rights were once again overshadowed and undermined by political cowardice and misplaced religious interference. We have been criticised far and wide internationally, including by the European Court of Human Rights and the UN, as well as numerous international rights groups for our degrading practice. Here is the most recent case, which is pending before the UN Human RIghts Committee: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/13/second-woman-challenges-ireland-abortion-law-un-siobhan-whelan
      The situation is not only sad but it is also an embarrassment. It took over 20 years for us to get this current legislation through (after our Supreme Court ruled on the ‘X’ case in 1992 that abortion could be allowed when the life of the mother was at risk-including by suicide) , which believe it or not was an achievement in itself (albeit fundamentally flawed and disappointing legislation) as no government dared raise the hugely controversial issue. Perhaps it will only take another 20 years for Irish legislators to actually join the rest of the Western world and get on the women’s reproductive rights bandwagon. Here’s hoping…

  • Adina said on Reply

    Dear Ida, thank you for your elaborate responses, I really appreciate your feed-back! I have not meant to exaggerate the importance of the abortion law during the Nazi regime and to imply that it was a great influence on the current situation. I will revise that paragraph so that it becomes more clear that I refer mostly to the fact that it is still used by the pro-life organizations. And Poland is not an exception. Hitler is often the “poster-image” in campaigns (from other countries too, not only abortion related) that should put the word “murder” in the mind of those who see it. I believe that the pro-life groups don’t necessarily try to remind people about the legislation of that time, but about murder and loss and try to make stronger associations between the two. And yes, I agree with you that at the two extremes, the discourse lacks logic and solid arguments and it turns into something else. I mentioned my background not because my stay in Poland would entitle me to think that I know the country well. I actually believe that it would have taken at least 4 more to get a better grasp of how Polish people think and how they are as a nation. But I wanted to say that at least the way in which Poles present themselves to foreigners through cultural events, conferences and meetings that I have attended in Poland has a lot to do with the past, sometimes I think to the detriment of other aspects that could also be promoted and that are equally interesting about Poland. While I don’t want to give it more importance than it deserves, I wouldn’t leave it completely out.

    Also, you said in the previous comment that ” Poles today don’t care about communist attitude to abortion. ” I find this interesting. I believe that Romanians for example are still comparing present times with communism, there are many film made about that time and that period marked us profoundly. Perhaps young Polish people don’t look back as much, but what about society as a whole? I know that you referred mostly to abortion during communism, but I am curious how you see this about different aspects of life. In Romania there was also a desire to cut links from the past (while ironically having the same communists in power), but it went to the extreme. If during communism abortion was fully prohibited, in the 90’s it became fully acceptable and nowadays we are in the top at most abortions in Europe. I don’t really understand or believe in this cutting links from the past and starting fresh concerning “what is acceptable in democratic state”, definitely not “what we had before” because when you bring democracy in a country, you adapt it to the cultural background that is already there. Maybe you want to elaborate on this, perhaps I don’t understand your point well enough. Thank you and looking forward to your reply.

  • Raj said on Reply

    Dear Cassandra,

    Thanks for inviting me to this site and it is good to know that there are many who think and live the same way as I do in India.

    The problem with abortions in India finally took shape when our government was awaken after years since the male female ratio was at an alarming level since the last five years or more in order to avoid female abortions now there are new laws but still there is a long way to make them effective. Due to poor information and lack of technology these ideas have still a long way from real india, from the villages where we have almost 65 % of our population living.

    Female birth is still seen as a curse in society, old traditions and religious belief make it even more difficult for female to coupe with this situation. I am working in a small village of India implementing an educational program and last year I came to know that at my own school girls who were 8 years old have been married for two years alredy???? This is something that occured in the past as well but in 2014 these things still exist and there is still competition to have male children and sometimes during pregnancy if it is discovered that the foetus is a female, the mother is forced to abort or even she is kicked out of house if she refuses to obey her husband. The dignity of women is at risk specially in Indian society you might have read about rape problems in India in the last two years but women have started rebelling against such crimes. But often they are not supported by their own parents, or by the law, so basically they are alone.

    We are working to bring more awareness among women but this is seen by our own society as if we are ruining their family peace?? How come? because if women continue to work as slaves and men continue to enjoy playing cards and drinking alcohol which is a trend it is a huge problem. Women have needs and need to be taken care of, but if it`s not urgent then they are neglected by their husbands.

    We came across many times to such realities living in the village. There are many other realities which are seen in our daily lives but we lack the means, neither the police or the government officers are ready to help us.

    We have the biggest cattle fair in Rajasthan. On the same night of fair many newborn babies are married under the protection of those who are supposed to stop such acts. Village heads also know what is going on but they need votes during elections and they make it happen without ever complaining. The police does the same.

    Its a big issue but we need to work out how we can save women from discrimination and how to offer them the right to study. We managed to give three years free for education to female children but it is hard for us to sustain such expense, yet our project goes ahead.

    I thank you for this occassion and for allowing me to offer your platform some details regarding the reality from India. We are here.

    Regards,
    Raj Taxak

  • Patricia Papuc said on Reply

    Raj many thanks for your comments and for the informations provided about India. Yes, I have heard about these issues and I really hope that the situation will improve for those women. I understand that there are a lot of cultural differences between India and Europe , but when basic human rights are not respected, when women are faced with inhuman treatment and discrimination then cultural differences and tradition represent arguments I do not either recognise or accept. I think people in your country should work more together and try to solve this middle ages conduct, because we are in 2014 and this behaviour is unacceptable.

  • Juli said on Reply

    Great article!
    Abortion is one of the many issues of nowadays society. I believe that there shouldn’t be a law to forbid it; we should focus on sexual education, and as you said it too, women who want to do the procedure, should be offered therapy before and after. Many perspectives could change if one knows how to approach the subject and can present alternatives.
    I also think that abortion is tightly related to adoption – an other field were there are huge gaps. People still consider it a taboo subject and there are very few who would do it, even if, in my opinion, this would solve many problems, such as overpopulation, child abuse, even abortion and so on.

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