Despite legislation, far-right politicians and religious organisations have entrenched ways to deny women their right to an abortion and shame those who do terminate a pregnancy.
By: Alex Čizmić
5 May 2021
There are laws that are enacted to bring about real-life change. There are others that are pushed through simply to give the illusion of progress. The latter seems to be the case in Italy with Law 194/78.
This legislation from 22 May 1978 decriminalises and regulates the procedure for accessing an abortion but, according to a report by the minister of health published in 2019 on the implementation of the law, conscientious objection among gynaecologists reached 68.4% on average with peaks of 100% in certain hospitals.
The law in Italy has made it difficult for women to have freedom of choice in the matter of abortion, some resorting to dangerous methods, writes Francesco Bertolucci.
By Francesco Bertolucci
17 April 2021
IN ITALY, almost 70% of the total number of gynaecologists deny the possibility of performing abortions because of their religious beliefs. This is an option guaranteed to doctors by Law 194 of 1978, which regulated access to abortion and decriminalised it. Until that year, anyone who procured or caused an abortion was liable to penalties ranging from six months to 12 years' imprisonment.
Silvana Agatone, gynaecologist and president of Laiga, a free Italian association of gynaecologists, spoke about the application of Law 194:
Catholic and conservative groups are slowly chipping away at abortion rights in Italy, where abortion has been legal since 1978.
November 11, 2020
By Lucía Benavides
A recently discovered cemetery of aborted fetuses where the names of the women who had had abortions appeared on crosses has sparked outrage across Italy.
Retired gynecologist Silvana Agatone says the cemetery discovery renewed a conversation about growing anti-abortion sentiments in Italy, despite the practice being legal since 1978. Although every public hospital is required to provide abortions, she says only about 64% of them do.
Riccardo Antoniucci and Nicole Winfield, The Associated Press
Published Tuesday, October 20, 2020
ROME -- Italian prosecutors and the government's privacy watchdog are investigating how the names of women who miscarried or had abortions ended up on crosses over graves for the fetuses in a Rome cemetery.
Rights groups have denounced the grave markings as a gross violation of the women's privacy, which is protected by the 1978 law that legalized abortion in Italy. While regulations require burial of a fetus after 20 weeks, women who have complained said they never knowingly consented to the burials, much less to having their names put on crosses.
Discovery of burials women did not authorise highlights issues of stigma, Catholic groups’ influence and medical community’s failure.
By Virginia Pietromarchi
16 Oct 2020
Rome, Italy – The words on the crucifix read Francesca Rossi*. Yet Francesca Rossi was standing right in front of it, alive.
Many other wooden crosses bearing only a female name and a date were also stuck in the ground nearby, some dating back as far as 2004.
For the Medicines Agency it is a "turning point for the physical and psychological health protection of adolescents"
October 11, 2020
It will no longer be necessary to have a medical prescription to dispense ulipistral acetate (EllaOne), the drug used for emergency contraception up to five days after intercourse, even to minors.
This was established by the Italian Medicines Agency Aifa with Resolution no. 998 of last 8 October.
Rome prosecutor's office investigating after women say they did not consent to burial of fetuses
Megan Williams · CBC News
Posted: Oct 08, 2020
When Francesca joined a group of friends on a fact-finding visit to a cemetery in Rome last week, she was not prepared to find a small, white cross with her name on it.
The friends had learned through Facebook that a woman from Rome who had an abortion had later discovered her name on a similar cross in the sprawling Prima Porta Cemetery in the Flaminio district on the northern outskirts of the capital city.
Aug. 8, 2020
By The Associated Press
ROME (AP) — Women in Italy can now use the abortion pill on an outpatient basis rather than be hospitalized to terminate a pregnancy.
Italy’s health minister, Roberto Speranza, announced the change in guidelines in a tweet Saturday. He said it was based on scientific evidence and was “an important step forward” in line with Italy’s 1978 law legalizing abortion.
Previously, women in Italy had to admitted to the hospital to take mifepristone, which terminates a pregnancy by causing the embryo to detach from the uterine wall.
Inadequate Measures Heighten Existing Risks for Health, Lives
July 30, 2020
(London) – Government inaction has left women and girls facing avoidable obstacles to accessing legal abortion in Italy during the Covid-19 pandemic, putting their health and lives at risk, Human Rights Watch said today.
The government’s failure to ensure clear pathways to essential, time-sensitive medical care during the pandemic caused interruptions to abortion services and prevented some women from accessing abortion within the legal time limit, exacerbating longstanding barriers to safe and legal abortion in Italy.
‘Absurd’ rules obstruct abortion access in Italy during COVID-19
Abortion has been legal in Italy for 40 years but guidelines say medical terminations must occur in hospitals – now overwhelmed by the pandemic. Italiano
3 April 2020
As coronavirus infections spread throughout northern Italy, Lisa* got pregnant. In her late 40s, with two children, a precarious job and poor health, she said: “Unfortunately I realised I was pregnant unexpectedly, above all at my age”.
She decided to have an abortion, which has been legal for most of Lisa’s life. But these services are hard to access even in ‘normal’ times. Many doctors refuse to provide them, and unlike in other European countries, medical abortions in Italy are only available at hospitals, and only up to seven weeks of pregnancy.