Once upon a time, not that long ago, in a land far, far away, birth control and abortion were made illegal. Bearing children was the name of the game, so childless women paid penalty fines while those with many children enjoyed lavish perks. The secret police were empowered to patrol hospital exam rooms looking for any sign of the newly decreed illegal activity. The age to marry was lowered to 15, and divorce became virtually impossible. But it didn’t stop there. Over the years it got worse, much worse.
Squads of doctors and nurses run by the secret police were formed to administer monthly vaginal exams and pregnancy tests to all female residents, from prepubescent girl to post menopausal women, looking for any sign of “tampering”. Gynecological command units were set up by the police inside private and public workplaces to catch any women who might otherwise evade the exams. A mass propaganda campaign telling women it was their patriotic, religious, and moral obligation to have babies was launched.
At the height of the insanity every pregnancy was recorded and monitored through term by assigned government case managers. Even in the rare instance when a wealthy or influential woman was considered for a special pardon, or in the event of rape or to save the mother’s life from a terminal pregnancy, a senior party representative with the power to veto or arrest had to be present to authorize each and every step of diagnosis and treatment.
Every miscarriage was investigated, doctors and patients alike were interrogated. Trials, such as they were, were secret, the evidence gathered was secret, the names of the accusers were secret, the reason everything had to be secret was secret; the penalties for first time offenders be they doctors, nurses, or patients were brutal: one to five years in prison work camps with no parole and no appeal.
This isn’t a fairy tale gone bad. It really happened.
The Orwellian nightmare finally ended in 1989, when the architects of this madness, Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu, were deposed and summarily executed. But the legacy remains to this day in what was once called (The People’s Republic of) Romania.
It’s hard to believe, but when it comes to women’s health and constitutional rights today, the Republican Party, led by self-proclaimed small government conservatives alarmed over any purported sign of socialism, are eagerly following in the footsteps of an old school Stalinist dictator in creating the most intrusive Big Government apparatus imaginable.
We’ve been warned about this for years, now it’s right outside the door. And lo and behold, it’s even wrapped in a flag and waving a cross just as predicted.