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Stud Fam Plann. 1991 Jul-Aug;22(4):231-40.

Reproductive health in Romania: reversing the Ceausescu legacy.

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  • 1International Projects Assistance Services (IPAS), Carrboro, NC 27510.

Abstract

As a result of the restrictive reproductive health policies enforced under the 25-year Ceausescu dictatorship, Romania ended the 1980s with the highest recorded maternal mortality of any country in Europe--159 deaths per 100,000 live births in 1989. An estimated 87 percent of these maternal deaths were caused by illegal and unsafe abortion. Under the Ceausescu regime, all contraceptive methods were forbidden and induced abortion was available only for women who met extremely narrow criteria. Immediately after the December 1989 revolution that overthrew Ceausescu, the new government removed restrictions on contraceptive use and legalized abortion. This legislative change has had beneficial effects on women's health, seen in the drop in maternal mortality in 1990 to 83 deaths per 100,000 live births--almost half the ratio in 1989. In addition, changes instituted since the revolution have led to the improved availability of reproductive health services and to the creation of new educational and training opportunities related to reproductive health services and to the creation of new educational and training opportunities related to reproductive health. The newly created contraceptive and abortion services have presented health system managers and policymakers with many challenges as they work to expand the availability of high-quality, comprehensive reproductive health care in a setting of economic hardship, political unrest, insufficient infrastructure, and outdated medical knowledge and practice.

PMID:
1949105
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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