The Politics of Duplicity: Controlling Reproduction in Ceausescu’s Romania
The political hypocrisy and personal horrors of one of the most repressive anti-abortion regimes in history came to the world's attention soon after the fall of Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. Photographs of orphans with vacant eyes, sad faces, and wasted bodies circled the globe, as did alarming maternal mortality statistics and heart-breaking details of a devastating infant AIDS epidemic. Gail Kligman's chilling ethnography—of the state and of the politics of reproduction—is the first in-depth examination of this extreme case of political intervention into the most intimate aspects of everyday life.
Ceausescu's reproductive policies, among which the banning of abortion was central, affected the physical and emotional well-being not only of individual men, women, children, and families but also of society as a whole. Sexuality, intimacy, and fertility control were fraught with fear, which permeated daily life and took a heavy moral toll as lying and dissimulation transformed both individuals and the state. This powerful study is based on moving interviews with women and physicians as well as on documentary and archival material. In addition to discussing the social implications and human costs of restrictive reproductive legislation, Kligman explores the means by which reproductive issues become embedded in national and international agendas. She concludes with a review of the lessons the rest of the world can learn from Romania's tragic experience.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Building Socialism in Ceausescus Romania Politics as Performance
Legislating Reproduction under Socialism
Protecting Women Children and the Family
Institutionalizing Political Demography The Medicalization of Repression
Spreading the WordPropaganda
Bitter Memories The Politics of Reproduction in Everyday Life
Other editions - View all
abor abortion law abortion-related activities adoption banning of abortion became birthrate body Bucharest Buletinul oficial Ceausescu regime Ceausescu's Romania chapter child citizens Committee Communist Party complicity contraceptive contributed cultural curettage doctor economic especially everyday example Femeia gender gynecologist Helsinki Watch hospital husband ideological illegal abortion increased infant mortality institutionalized institutions interests legal abortion legislation live births maternal deaths means ment Ministry of Health months mortality rate mother natalist nonetheless norms noted number of abortions number of children obstetrician-gynecologist official organization parents paternalist percent persons physicians political demographic policies population practices pregnancy problems pronatalist policies propaganda prosecutor public sphere relations represented responsibility result rhetoric role Roma Romanian Communist Party Scinteia sentenced sexual Smaranda Mezei social socialist society Soviet spontaneous abortion state's statistics symbolic violence tion Trebici urban uterus woman women workers World Population Conference Zlatescu