Date of Defense




First Advisor

Sally Vliem

Second Advisor

Dr. Mary Lagerwey

Third Advisor

Betsy Phillips


In 1966, Nicolae Ceausescu, motivated by issues of economic growth, began a crusade to reverse the declining birthrate in Romania by making contraceptives unavailable and restricting abortions. These measures did not prove to be as effective as he had hoped and in 1984, a policy was instituted that required all female employees of the government to undergo a gynecological exam to determine pregnancy. A woman that was identified as pregnant was subject to strict monitoring until delivery to rule out the possibility that she might seek an abortion. All miscarriages were carefully investigated. The result of these drastic measures was a surplus of unwanted children (Vigilante, 1993). The federal government's solution for the surplus of unwanted children was to put them in places out of sight and out of mind.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only