4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days. This 2007 Romanian movie illustrates why banning abortions can have extremely dangerous consequences. With no legal options, desperate women start looking for illegal alternatives. This caused thousands of premature deaths in Romania under the rule of Nicolae Ceaușescu.
A few days ago, Poland proved that the rule of religious dogmatism is not yet dead in Central Europe. Despite notable disagreement among the Polish society, the country’s constitutional court doubled down on abortions and ruled that they were unconstitutional.
With the new measure in place, Polish women can undergo abortion procedures only in very special cases. But history teaches us that such a measure can turn counterproductive and even dangerous to many.
As the 2007 Romanian movie 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days illustrates, desperate situations lead to desperate actions. And if there is no option to seek help officially, there always will be illegal, and thus much more risky alternatives.
Ceaușescu's overcrowded orphanages and of thousands of dead mothers
The 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days movie describes a story of two university students handling an illegal abortion in the Nicolae Ceaușescu’s Romania.
With the aim to boost the country’s population, the dictator imposed a strict ban on abortions in 1966 with very harsh punishments for everyone breaking the law.
In the movie, one student is pregnant and seeks a solution. Her friend helps her to arrange an abortion that needs to take place in a hotel room instead of a clinic or a hospital. They both undergo a series of unimaginably unpleasant situations including bribery and even offering their own body to strangers for sexual pleasure.
The main point of this movie therefore is that it’s not possible to get rid of abortions completely. Desperate situations lead to desperate actions and with no legal options in place, women in a need of abortion start looking for illegal alternatives.
The proof that a nation-wide ban on abortions can turn truly counterproductive and harmful is the fact that during the 60s, 70s and 80s in Romania, thousands of women died during an illegal surgery, and the state’s orphanages became overcrowded.
Hopefully, Poland won’t follow this tragic path with their latest measure against abortions in the country.
If you’re interested in the 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days movie, you can watch it on Netflix. But be prepared to see things you won’t be able to get out of your head for a while.