Romania Government to Decide if 11-Year-Old Rape Victim Gets Abortion

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 26, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Romania Government to Decide if 11-Year-Old Rape Victim Gets Abortion

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 26
, 2008

Bucharest, Romania ( — The Romanian government is expected to decide tomorrow whether or not an 11-year-old girl who is a victim of sexual abuse can travel to Britain for an abortion. The situation has sparked a battle between pro-life advocates and abortion activists who say she be allowed to have a late-term abortion.

Florina Vranceanu was supposedly raped by her 19-year-old uncle, who has disappeared. She only learned of the pregnancy in recent weeks when she appeared to become ill and her parents took her to a doctor.

The girl is now 20 weeks pregnant and the legal limit for abortions in Romania is 20 weeks into pregnancy. In England, abortions can be done up to 24 weeks into pregnancy as long as two physicians claim the pregnancy jeopardizes the woman’s health — though late-term abortions have become routine.

A Romanian friend living in England has volunteered to pay for the trip and the abortion.

In the battle that has ensued over whether she can have an abortion, 20 church groups, including pro-life Christian Orthodox churches, are calling on the government to reject a bid for her to get a late-term abortion in England.

According to an AP report, the church groups have offered the girl "material, spiritual and psychological help" and say they will gladly support the girl’s family if they encourage her to have the baby.

On the other side, the Romanian Orthodox Church says the decision should be left to the girl’s family.

More than 80 percent of Romanians belong to the Orthodox Church and spokesman Constantin Stoica told the Associated Press this is "an exceptional situation which must be treated in an exceptional manner and the family is the only one to take this decision."

Still, Father Vasile from the Romanian Orthodox Church has tried to convince the family that Florina should give birth to the child.

The Romanian Orthodox Church opposes abortion except in cases of rape or incest, he explained.

The Romanian Ministry of Health said Thursday that a government committee will decide by tomorrow if the girl can go to England for the abortion. The girl and her family would not need visas because both Romania and Britain are members of the European Union.

Should the girl get the abortion, the family would have to pay for the abortion at a private facility since they do not qualify for a publicly-funded abortion under the National Health Service.

Residents of EU member nations are entitled to use the NHS for emergency care but not for elective medical treatment, according to Britain’s Department of Health.

Romania has long had high abortion figures and rates along with Russia, Bulgarian and other eastern European nations. As a result, the countries face significant underpopulation problems that have produced a host of concerns ranging from labor shortages to an increase in sexual trafficking.

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