ITALY – Seven doctors on trial for manslaughter in the death in Sicily of Valentina Milluzzo in 2016
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Nov 19, 2019
Seven Italian doctors are on trial for manslaughter, accused of failing to carry out a life-saving abortion as emergency obstetric care in 2016 for Valentina Milluzzo, who began miscarrying when she was 19 weeks pregnant with twins. She died of sepsis, which with prompt and appropriate care, including emergency evacuation of the uterus, can be prevented/treated before it becomes fatal. This cause of death happened to Savita Halapannavar in Ireland four years earlier.
The court has sat twice so far, on 17 and 29 October 2019. The Financial Times reported on 29 October 2019 that the doctors said they could not do an abortion because there was still a fetal heartbeat. If this is true, then they were following Catholic health policy. The Financial Times report says the hospital and staff deny any wrongdoing.
Gucci makes abortion rights statement with 2020 Cruise line
By The Associated Press
May 29, 2019
MILAN — Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele has made a clear abortion rights message in his latest Cruise collection, as the debate over abortion heats up once again in the United States.
The collection, shown to a VIP crowd Tuesday evening in Rome’s Capitoline Museum, featured a purple jacket with the slogan “My Body, My Choice” on the back, and a sweater emblazoned with the date “May 22, 1978,” marking the day that abortion became legal in Italy. A belted gown was embroidered with a flowering uterus.
Italy: Thousands protest against anti-abortion conference
Pro-choice activists took to the streets of Verona to protest an anti-abortion conference attended by Interior Minister Matteo Salvini. His coalition partner Luigi Di Maio described anti-abortion rhetoric as medieval.
Tens of thousands of people marched through the northern Italian city of Verona on Saturday to protest an international anti-abortion conference.
The three-day meeting organized by the US-based World Congress of Families (WCF) started on Friday and featured Interior Minister Matteo Salvini as Saturday's key speaker.
Conservative congress on family divides Italy
The Associated Press
Published: March 30, 2019
VERONA, Italy — A congress in Italy under the auspices of a U.S. organization that defines family as strictly centring around a mother and father has made Verona — the city of Romeo and Juliet — the backdrop for a culture clash over family values, with a coalition of civic groups mobilizing against what they see as a counter-reform movement to limit LGBT and women’s rights.
The World Congress of Families, which runs through Sunday, has revealed another rift in Italy’s governing coalition, as well as providing a platform for ultra-conservatives seeking to reopen the debate over abortion, legalized in Italy in 1978.
Allowing adoption of embryos 'would attack Italy’s abortion rights’
by Lillo Montalto Monella & Alice Tide
A bid by one of Italy's ruling populist parties to recognise the legal rights of embryos and allow unborn children to be adopted has been denounced by critics who say it is an assault on the country's decades-old abortion law.
The proposal is back in the spotlight ahead of a global conference in Verona that seeks to defend the concept of family in society.
Italy’s Right Links Low Birthrate to Fight Against Abortion and Migration
By Jason Horowitz
March 27, 2019
VERONA — In a City Hall office decorated with ultrasound images of his children, a Crucifix and nesting dolls of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, Mayor Federico Sboarina explained why he had sought to make Verona the first “Pro-Life City” in Italy.
“This is the city of love, the city of Romeo and Juliet,” he said, “and the fruit of love is life.”
Abortion is legal in Italy, but most doctors refuse to perform them
PRI's The World
December 18, 2018
Listen to the full interview.
Italy legalized abortion 40 years ago. But according to a group of Italian gynecologists, access to the procedure has been declining for years now.
The main reason is that fewer doctors who work in Italy's public health facilities are willing to perform abortions. Italy's abortion law requires all hospitals to provide access to the procedure. But the law also gives gynecologists the option to declare themselves “conscientious objectors.”
Seven doctors at Catania, Sicily’s Cannizzaro Hospital were indicted on 13 November 2018 for the October 2016 death of a 32-year-old woman who died of septicaemia after miscarrying twins. The charges are multiple culpable manslaughter. Valentina Milluzzo was 19 weeks pregnant with twins at the time, having undergone IVF treatment. She experienced cervical dilation and began to miscarry but life-saving, emergency action was not taken. Staff refused to carry out an abortion as long as there was a fetal heartbeat. The same as Savita Halappanavar in Ireland in 2012. However, as activist Nadia Somma pointed out, abortion has been legal in Italy for 40 years. Italian law does not allow “objecting” doctors to deny care when the life of a pregnant woman is in danger, under any circumstances. Yet in Sicily 87.6% of doctors are so-called “conscientious” objectors.
SOURCES: ANSA.IT, 13 November 2018 ; IPPF-EN, 20 October 2016 ; PHOTO: © ANSA
Italy’s politics gives new life to anti-abortion campaign
Italian cities and government ministers are taking aim at a 40-year-old law on reproductive rights.
By Giada Zampano
ROME — It is 40 years since Italy passed a law that legalized abortion, but activists fear a woman’s right to choose is again under attack — this time from the country’s politicians.
Thousands of women have taken to the streets in recent weeks to protest against a rise in anti-abortion initiatives in Italian cities — but the same measures enjoy widespread backing among supporters of the country’s most powerful party, the far-right League, as well as the Catholic Church.
How the so-called pro-life movements are attacking women
The city council of Verona has approved a motion supporting local anti-abortion associations, and has declared Verona "a city in favor of life".
Oct 17, 2018
Why this story matters:
"Constitutional democracy was not born out of rights, but out of promises. It was not created containing, for example, the right to divorce, the right to terminate a pregnancy, or equal rights and obligations between spouses, and civil unions. In short, when we denounce the assault on these freedoms, we must keep in mind that these were not granted to us by constitutional democracy, but it is constitutional democracy that gave us the opportunity to pursue them" -- writes political scientist Nadia Urbinati in "La Repubblica" this week.
This means that enjoying those rights necessarily implies a constant struggle to defend them, to never consider them acquired once and for all. There are two reasons for this. The first is that, by definition, freedom is never fully acquired. For example, the laws on divorce and abortion in Italy, despite having represented veritable social revolutions, are nevertheless compromises leaving ample room for improvement.