Smack in the middle of the avalanche of good news pouring out of Eastern Europe comes the report that Romanian women are having their unborn babies killed by the tens of thousands.

The ban on abortions that had been put in place by the former dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, executed shortly after Christmas 1989, was recently lifted by the new authorities. It’s an instructive action. For one thing, it proves that outlawing abortions is an effective way to stop them, but when permitted, they increase dramatically.

But the anomaly of Nicolae Ceausescu remains. What kind of “pro-lifer” behaves as he did? He certainly fits the abortionist’s caricature of the pro-lifer: tyrannical, arrogant, ruthless. But the truth is that he was not pro-life at all. How can that be? Didn’t he ban abortion?

That’s why I say it’s instructive. Not only must a government ban abortion, but it must so for the right reasons. Ceausescu did indeed outlaw abortion, but for all the wrong reasons.

On the evidence he was not out for the glory of God. He was not even out for the glory of man.

He was out for the glory of the State, which meant himself, for a great Romania would reflect well on its glorious ruler. Children were a means to an end. They were not an end in themselves, but things to be used.

And that outlook on human life is precisely the same as that of Canadian abortionists. Children are things or blobs of tissue or fetuses – anything but children.

The East is not out of the woods yet.

And the way she is going, Canada is heading deeper into them.

Mr. Joseph Thompson lives in Sarnia, Ontario