The power of numbers: data-based advocacy model that led to reproductive health policy reform in Romania

Imelda Zosa-Feranil, Centre for Development and Population Activities (CEDPA)

Romania's socio-economic transition has been difficult following the 1989 revolution that ousted the harsh Ceaucescu regime. By 2000, poverty reached 40 percent and total population (22 million) grew negatively due to long-term fertility decline (TFR in the 1990s dipped to 1.3) primarily through abortion. Modern contraceptive use among women aged 15–44 remained low during the 1990s (10% in 1993; 22% in 1999). Lifetime abortion rates per woman reached 3.4 in 1993 and 2.2 in 1999. Abortion complications led to maternal mortality levels among the highest in Europe. Romania did not have a clearly defined reproductive health policy, although urban-based family planning clinics were the main source of contraceptive services. Substituting abortion with contraception to promote reproductive health became the major focus of donors and champions. It is against this context that advocates innovatively used numbers derived from census, survey, and registration data to argue for reproductive health policy reform.

Presented in Poster Session 3