From 1966 to 1989, Nicolae Ceauşesu, a Romanian communist, gained power & took action when Romania’s population growth was rapidly approaching zero.
First of all, a pro-natal policy was introduced prohibiting abortions with the exceptions being: if the pregnancy was a result of rape or incest, if it endangered the life of the mother, if the women was over 45 or if she had already had and raised four children, which was then raised to five children in 1985. As a an incentive & a way of enforcing this, men and women who were still childless after the age of 25 were taxed up to 20% of their income. Furthermore, restrictions on divorce became much stricter, only allowing them in exceptional cases.
The aim was to boost population growth by increasing the birth and fertility rates as to ensure there were enough labour suppliers in the future to allow industrialisation to continue.
Extent of Success
However, there was consequently a rise in infant and maternal mortality rates diminishing the success somewhat. Also once the police stopped monitoring abortions, there was a surge in the amount of legal abortions taking place, and the taxing incentive obviously did'nt appeal strongly enough because the increase in birth rate was only temporary - the rate had fallen back to 14.3 by 1983. The regime was clearly very successful initially but it did'nt last.
The main issue is whether it was morally wrong to instruct women on what they could & couldn’t do with their own bodies, essentially ordering them to get pregnant and not allowing them to terminate a pregnancy.
Is it still in operation?
The regime hasn’t been in operation for over 20 years now and although abortion is now legal in Romania, the rate has been gradually decreasing since 1990. However in 2012 there has been a proposal for a legislation change. The Democratic Liberal Party want to introduce a project in which women considering abortions must undergo psychological counselling sessions before doing so to make them fully aware of what they are going to undergo, and to try and convince them otherwise.