Inside Italian public hospitals, I saw how a US-linked anti-abortion network is ‘humiliating’ women
An Italian federation of anti-abortion activists, linked to the US religious right, is “infiltrating” hospitals to stop abortions. I saw them in action. (In Italiano).
9 March 2020
At 8am on a winter Friday morning, the road to the San Pio hospital in Benevento, a small city in southern Italy, is covered by mist. The hospital’s corridors are quiet, except on the second floor, where abortion-related visits are scheduled to start.
More than forty years after abortions were legalised in Italy, they remain hard for women to access – especially in the south, where most doctors refuse to perform them. In 2017, the entire Benevento province was briefly left with no abortion provider after the only non-refuser at the San Pio hospital retired.
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.