Romania Government Proposes Law Allowing Teens to Have Late-Term Abortions

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 24, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Romania Government Proposes Law Allowing Teens to Have Late-Term Abortions

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 24
, 2008

Bucharest, Romania ( — The government of Romania has proposed a new law allowing teenagers to get late-term abortions. The proposal comes after an incident that made international headlines where an 11-year-old girl who was a victim of rape couldn’t get an abortion there and traveled to England for one.

The measure would allow girls under the age of 15 to get abortions up to 24 weeks of pregnancy. Currently abortions are limited to 14 weeks except in cases to save the life of the mother or other extraordinary circumstances.

The new law reportedly does not say under what cases the abortions late in pregnancy can be carried out, but presumably the government will allow existing cases and those involving sexual abuse.

The government’s health ministry proposed the new law earlier this week and, according to an AP report, announced it on Thursday. The new measure is expected to be enacted by August 21 after a period of public debate.

In the case that sparked the controversy, Florina Vranceanu was supposedly raped by her 19-year-old uncle. She learned of the pregnancy when she appeared to become ill and her parents took her to a doctor.

The girl was 20 weeks pregnant at the time and, in Britain, 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 volunteered to pay for the trip and the abortion.

In the battle that ensued, 20 church groups, including pro-life Christian Orthodox churches, called on the government to reject her bid for the abortion. They offered the girl "material, spiritual and psychological help" and said they would gladly support the girl’s family if they encourage her to have the baby.

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

Romania has long had high abortion figures and rates along with Russia, Bulgaria 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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