BUCHAREST, ROMANIA. The NGO “Studenți pentru viață” (Students for life) was due to present the second edition of their magazine called “For life nr.2 – Adoption is a noble choice.” The presentation was supposed to take place Thursday, April 10 starting at 6 PM local time as part of the Education Fair organized by the University of Bucharest.
The event qualified under the application procedure and had been approved by the university. However, on the day the event was scheduled to take place, the university banned the event without explanation. Following this, the organizers sent an open letter to the President of the University and to the Senate of the University.
With great pain we have to observe that the ban came following an immense pressure exerted over the leadership of the University, a pressure that wasn’t even open. The pressure manifested through private Facebook groups, secret meetings and contacting the leadership of the University without anyone telling us a single word. It would have been natural to see this decision being taken following a debate in which every party gets to present its arguments.
The group mentioned Oana Băluţă, associate professor from the Journalism and Communications Science Faculty at the University of Bucharest and a self-proclaimed militant feminist as a source of the pressure applied on the University to have the group banned, an allegation that Ms. Oana Băluţă did not deny.
Oana Băluță said the following in a statement for Adevărul
Respecting the rules and the procedures must not be brutally separated from the values. It is true that I have sent an e-mail to Mr. Mircea Dumitru, the president of the University, last night [April 9, n.n.], in which I have raised the question of compatibility between the values of the University of Bucharest and the values promoted by this Association.
The NGO also mentions that false information has been spread about the organization’s mission. In their open letter, the NGO says:
We should also mention that the charges brought against us are based mainly on the interpretation of our activity given by a report aired by ProTV made by Ms. Adriana Stere and an opinion piece written by associate professor Oana Băluță in the blog section of the Adevărul newspaper[…]
We have told to Ms. Adriana Stere multiple times that our organization has never advocated nor does it advocate for banning abortion in Romania. However, after a prefabricated scenario, the TV station invited associate professor Oana Băluță into the scene and she declared that the organizers wish to ban abortion which provided an opportunity for the author of the report to outright make up a non-existent conflict between the two parties[…]. We are now obliged to stand up against the report aired by ProTV and the article written by professor Oana Băluță which was based on the ProTV report, a report which used a circular logic and obviously distorted the truth.
The NGO’s webpage contained no statement purporting to ban abortion in Romania.
Oana Băluță’s opinion piece called The March of the Messengers of Justice from the Uterus says that the NGO “Students for life” wishes to ban abortion and then makes a point of reminding her readers about the period of the Decree 770/1966, a decree signed by Nicolae Ceaușescu which effectively banned abortion in Romania and a decree which was abolished in 1989 when Communism fell.
However, Oana Băluță might have not been the only source of pressure on the University to have this group banned. Ade Jelescu, the Educational Vicepresident from the UN Youth Association wrote a piece on Adevărul titled About abortion at the Education Fair from the University of Bucharest, a piece written a few hours before the group was banned. Ade Jelescu opens her article with the following statement:
Just a few hours from now, all of us are supposed to assist, on the halls of the University of Bucharest, to an event that might go unseen from a certain distance. Since very few words were written about this – baring a few isolated reactions -, very few of us are aware of the fact that in the most important academic milieu from this country, a new sort of extremism has arrived which doesn’t seem to bother anyone.
She also asserted that the point of view of the organization “Students for Life” should not even exist in a European University.
The deputy President of the University, Marian Voinea, confirmed that the NGO was banned following pressure.
After negative reactions from students appeared, mr. President transmitted to me this morning that I should tell them that they can no longer participate in the event because such a controversy should not be allowed on this event
At the moment, there is no reaction, negative or otherwise, cited anywhere as coming from students and the only negative reactions seem to have come from some professors in the humanities and the Vice President of the UN Youth Association.
Nobody from the University of Bucharest’s leadership was willing to explain why “Adoption is a noble choice” is a controversial message.
AVFM Publisher and men’s rights advocate Paul Elam expressed concerned about the events in Romania.
This is part of a growing trend of worldwide pro-feminist fascism. Even if the group had advocated the banning of abortion, it should not have been silenced in this fashion. The university setting is precisely where these debates should be vetted in a free exchange of ideas. What the University of Bucharest administration has done is silence opinions and debate before they even occur. Rather than educate students, they are indoctrinating them. It is a disgrace to the very idea of higher education.
AVFM News Europe will continue to report on these events as developments occur.