Romania's ultra-conservatives gaining ground
The Romanian "Coalition for the Family", an group of conservative NGOs, is upping pressure on the government. After gathering three million signatures against the introduction of same-sex marriage, the coalition is now demanding that access to abortion be restricted. Commentators are reminded of a dark chapter in the country's past.
Have we learned nothing from the past?
Cutting subsidies for abortions and contraception would be particularly disastrous for the poor, journalist Ramona Ursu complains in the magazine Revista 22:
“Those without means have two choices. Either they can give birth to a child they don't really want and then abandon it shortly thereafter - a traumatic experience for the parents and particularly for the baby. Or they can resort to the most barbaric and dangerous abortion methods, as in communist times. ... We've learned nothing from the fate of thousands of women who died during secret abortions as little as three decades ago. We've learned nothing from the tragedy of tens - or rather hundreds - of thousands of orphaned children.”
Dreadful persecution of gays
Ever since the ultra-conservative "Coalition for the Family" started fuelling prejudice homophobia seems to have become socially acceptable once more in Romania, philosophy professor Mihai Maci observes in his blog with Contributors:
“Nowadays the foreigners par excellence are those whose sexual orientation is different to that of the majority. It's remarkable to observe that gays have (almost) the same traits as Jews in the 1930s. They look like us, meaning you can't tell the difference on the basis of appearance, so they're omnipresent. Their 'genetic' uniqueness turns them into 'mutants'. They are radically different, completely 'perverse', corrupt and corrupting, and have the potential to destroy the 'rock-solid unity' of our people. … Wasn't this the vocabulary used to describe those for whom the gas chambers were only the highest degree of public revenge?”