by Father Nicolae Tănase
We had no idea to begin with in Valea Screzii, as odd as that may sound or as hard to believe as that may be. Meaning, life stirred us on, out of sheer necessity. But if I had to settle for one particular idea, it would be the one of Ioan Alexandru, to fight against abortion. The idea stuck with him after coming back, in May 1990, from Oslo, where he attended the International Congress for the Rights of the Unborn Child. He then said: “Romanian unborn children also have to have rights.” So we fought against abortion.
The ensuing fight brought us 13 children in one day, 86 in a year, so we had to do something with them. We didn’t realize that saying: “Don’t kill!” meant they would give you the baby. We didn’t think someone can forsake their own child. Yet they did. Why? Because Father, Mother, Grandpa, their lover or husband said “No”.
And so we began this life mission of ours, willy-nilly.
At first, children would come from the hospital, where we first started this fight for life. Now, they come from all over Romania, and not because we go looking for them. They just come, because mothers who are about to abandon their child or mothers struggling to keep their baby know of us as a sanctuary. We cannot understand what it means to a mother to have an abortion or to leave her child. It’s a drama. And still she does it. Why? Because the world is against her: mother-in-law, mother, father, sister, cousin, friend, husband, lover. What can the poor soul do? She abandons her child. Or she kills her or him. If she leaves the child, she can take the child back. But if she kills the child, she can never get the child back again.
So our propaganda for life had to materialize into something: into an alternative to abortion. That is how the movement of Valea Screzii first started out. Out of need. For you to keep 13 children in a heated vehicle, in November, is far from ideal. Nor is it exactly comforting for the Sanitary Police to give you notice for not having the proper housing conditions. We had nothing, at the time. We had to deal with these things by any means.
And then things started to change: we developed a taste for it, so we did things over and over. We couldn’t go back anymore. We can’t do that, nowadays. We’ll only be able to do that if Romania solves its major problems.
Abortion is, by far, the biggest of them all.
“What can the poor soul do? She abandons her child. Or she kills her or him. If she leaves the child, she can take the child back. But if she kills the child, she can never get the child back again.”