A bitter lesson to the AK Party: Ceauşescu’s orphans

A bitter lesson to the AK Party: Ceauşescu’s orphans

When Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan dropped the bombshell about C-sections/abortions last week, he probably did not foresee how wildly the debate could get out of his control.

History shows that “Let them have the ‘rape-babies,’ the government can take care of everything” argument holds very little water. Leaving aside the trauma and the crime factor, experience shows that women who do not have access to legal abortion or planned parenthood can actually give up their legally born kids if they cannot take care of them, too. 

Health Minister Recep Akdağ and the head of the Parliament’s Health Commission, Cevdet Erdöl, should look into the history books and maybe read about the Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu’s orphanages. 

Romania’s dictator got into the frenzy of raising the country’s population in the late 1960s and prohibited any sort of contraception and abortion in 1966. 

In a move not unlike Akdağ’s, Ceauşescu allowed families to leave their unwanted babies in government care. By the 1980s, the number of kids living in Romania’s state-run orphanages had reached 100,000.

Parents were even paid to give children to the orphanages; Ceauşescu planned to create a Romanian Workers’ Army from these orphans. However, the orphanages had few nurses and had food shortages, causing emotional and physical problems for the children. The Ceauşescus endorsed a medical answer to the weakness of many children: blood transfusions. Thus came the rapid rise of AIDS in Romania. 

The person running this whole operation was none other than the wife of the dictator, Elena Ceauşescu. They were both tried and executed by a firing squad after the regime collapsed.

This may sound like a horror movie to many. But journalists who visited Romania after the fall of the regime in 1989 actually saw kids chained to bunk beds or heaters, with little or no food, and some of them had even been sexually abused. CNN and the BBC documented the traumas of the young kids and how they were taken care of after the fall of the Berlin wall. One can simply run a search in Google about the Ceauşescu Orphanages and read about the real tragedies. 

Thus, Akdağ and the prime minister’s social engineering project to increase the size of the population may actually backfire in a way that they may not even have foreseen. 

History and our nearby neighbors have a firsthand account of this from the recent past.

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