Front cover of the book “6 Million Abortions” by Ivan Dikov. Images: See below*
Communism in Eastern Europe shamelessly utilized mass-scale abortion first as a policy tool, and then as survival tool, resulting in several hundred million abortions in the entire region, reveal the conclusions of a new book, “6 Million Abortions" by Bulgarian English-language journalist and writer Ivan Dikov.
The book also discusses the mass-scale abortion stories of Romania and the former Soviet Union to make the convincing case that the former communist regimes in Eastern Europe did in fact utilize abortion – first to seek to achieve their utopian goals, and then to mitigate the blows of their horrendous numerous failures.
“Bulgaria’s case with mass-scale abortion under communism, which then dragged into post-communism after 1989, could be deemed the most striking since it went from being Europe’s fastest growing nation to becoming the world’s fastest shrinking nation within a matter of decades," says book author Ivan Dikov, the founder and publisher of ArchaeologyinBulgaria.com.
“Such a staggering population apocalypse can only be the result of monstrous crimes committed by a totalitarian regime such as communism. The book explores how exactly it did it in Bulgaria’s case," he adds.
“Mass-scale abortion was a huge part of that – not because abortion was the root cause of Bulgaria’s demographic catastrophe but because the communist regime stimulated it in so many ways that it epitomized the population effects of its insane policies and diverse policy failures," the author elaborates.
He points out that Bulgaria lost to abortion the equivalent of its entire population within the course of four or five decades after the former communist regime legalized abortion in 1953.
Ivan, a journalist with 11 years of experience in English-language online media who is presently the editor-in-chief of EU-focused news site The European Views, underscores how shocked he was back in 2011 when he first stumbled upon the data of abortion in communist Bulgaria.
The data remains out of the public eye in Bulgaria’s murky post-communism period, and can hardly be expected to be featured in history textbooks any time soon, he notes.
“After all, this pandemic of mass-scale abortion is the most damning evidence of the utter failure and outright horror that communism was, of what it caused to those wretched nations it laid its hands upon," Ivan states.
“For most of the duration of the communist regime in Bulgaria, the annual number of abortions surpassed the number of live births, and oftentimes by a lot!" he adds.
The book “6 Million Abortions" uses statistical data, anecdotal evidence, historical background information, personal experiences, and personal stories of women who had abortions under communism in order to reveal how dictatorial regimes, in this case totalitarian communist dictatorships, have used abortion as a tool to guarantee their own survival.
“It is amazing how in no time the propaganda of the communist regime managed to brainwash everybody into perceiving abortion as a purely medical procedure, nothing more! No moral debates, no leftovers from the 1100-year-old tradition of Christianity (in Bulgaria), which communism did its best to eradicate altogether," says Ivan contrasting the situation to the morality of abortion debates typical for other Western countries such as the United States, the UK, Ireland, or even Poland, which also suffered its own communist regime as part of the same Soviet-dominated bloc in Eastern Europe as Bulgaria.
The book “6 Million Abortions" also discusses the cases of communist Romania and the former Soviet Union, where abortions outnumbered live births 2:1 or 3:1 in many of the communist rule years.
The author says that while the mass-scale abortion numbers in those two other former communist countries are far more staggering as absolute numbers than Bulgaria’s, truly stupefying even, because of those countries greater population size, their history and statistics render exactly the same conclusions of communism’s utilization of mass-scale abortion, the author emphasizes.
Ivan also points out that both communist Romania and the Soviet Union had very interesting, albeit utterly tragic, experiences with full or almost full abortion bans, which immediately shot up the number of illegal abortions, maternal deaths, cases of child abandonment, and even infant murders. This led the respective communist regimes to realize they had no way of enforcing the bans strictly if they wanted to survive.
Back cover of the book “6 Million Abortions” by Ivan Dikov. Cover photo: Ivan Dikov
In communist Bulgaria, in contrast, the abortion ban was only partial because of neighboring Romania’s experience, but still highly denigrating to women.
The raw numbers cited by the book make it clear that Bulgaria has had 6 million abortions, or 8 million according to unofficial estimates against a population of 7 million people today. Romania has had 19 million abortions and 18 million life births despite a 25-year-long supposedly full abortion ban. The former Soviet Union had a whopping 271 million abortions from 1920 until 1991, with the bulk appearing after 1955 when an abortion ban introduced in 1936 was lifted.
In all cases, however, the creation of unbearable living conditions was not enough – the stimulating of abortion, its execution, and the respective abortion bans were extremely humiliating for women.
“While the communist regimes created the impression of having achieved the large-scale and successful emancipation of women, that was just a hollow “achievement" like everything else that communism touted as an “achievement". Even the right to have an abortion was not unconditional, even when a ban was not in place – women had to appear before state commissions, and the ultimate decision was always in the hands of the party-dominated state!" Ivan points out.
The unbelievable consequences of communism in demographic terms, including the apparent incentivizing of mass-scale abortion are demonstrated further with an entire chapter in the book dedicated to comparing Romania and Turkey and Bulgaria and Greece. In both cases, the respective country pairs had roughly the same population and similar demographic traits in the 1940s. Several decades of communism later both Romania and Bulgaria had already fallen behind tremendously, having also suffered many, many millions of abortions in the meantime, among other ordeals.
“Imagining even one of these abortion cases under communism which occurred primarily because of the unbearable living conditions is excruciating. Trying to imagine what’s behind the millions and millions such cases, the pain, the horror, the humiliations, the crushed souls by the regimes – that’s just bordering on the impossible,” Ivan declares.
The author stresses that his book on mass-scale abortion under communism and post-communism is neither pro-life, nor pro-choice – although both the pro-life and pro-choice parties in the global abortion debate can find in it arguments in their favor.
“With pro-life vs. pro-choice debates raging around the world, especially in the West, be it the United States of America, or its states of Alabama, Ohio, or Georgia, be it the Republic of Ireland or Poland, this book is aiming at telling the untold story of mass-scale abortion under communism to reveal certain historical lessons – how and why abortion got to be utilized by totalitarian dictatorships. I believe this untold story is as gruesome as any major genocide case in human history," Ivan Dikov says.
In his interview given specially for the book, Ivaylo Tinchev, Chairman of the Pro-Life Choice Association, the Bulgarian NGO which first made public the government figures about mass-scale abortion under communism and post-communism, emphasizes the eugenics of the communist regime and the fact that one of its main motivations to legalize abortion was to utilize female labor.
“That is genocide. That is the extermination of entire generations of Bulgarians because somebody decided they did not deserve to live for social, economic, or other reasons," Tinchev comments.
Ivan Dikov’s book makes the case that mass-scale abortion under communism in Eastern Europe would have probably been classified as genocide today – had it not been for the fact that Soviet leader Joseph Stalin participated in the molding of the official genocide definition of the UN back in the 1940s.
“It’s crucial to realize that abortion about communism wasn’t about women or anybody else making a choice. It was most often about having no choice. The living conditions often made it impossible for a family to give birth to and raise more than one or two children. And even if they had the means and the space to do that, people trapped in a communism dictatorship sometimes wondered if it was a good idea to bring a child into their anti-utopian world,” Ivan concludes.
The book “6 Million Abortions: How Communism Utilized Mass-Scale Abortion Exterminating Europe’s Fastest Growing Nation" is available for purchase on Amazon.com here.