In Italy, religious organizations’ ‘fetus graves’ reignite abortion debate

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.

Continued: https://www.pri.org/stories/2020-11-11/italy-religious-organizations-fetus-graves-reignite-abortion-debate


Italy probes why women’s names mark aborted fetuses’ graves

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.

Continued: https://www.ctvnews.ca/world/italy-probes-why-women-s-names-mark-aborted-fetuses-graves-1.5152368


Italy’s ‘fetus graves’ renew abortion debate

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.

Continued: https://www.aljazeera.com/features/2020/10/16/italy-fetus-graves


5 days later pill also to minors without prescription

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.

Continued: https://www.unionesarda.it/en/articolo/news/italia/2020/10/10/pillola-dei-5-giorni-dopo-anche-alle-minorenni-senza-ricetta-137-1069260.html


Women in Italy shocked to find their names on grave markers for aborted fetuses

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.

Continued: https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/lawsuit-fetus-cemetery-1.5753731


Italy approves outpatient use for abortion pill

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.

Continued:  https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/health/italy-approves-outpatient-use-for-abortion-pill/


Italy: Covid-19 Exacerbates Obstacles to Legal Abortion

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.

Continued: https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/07/30/italy-covid-19-exacerbates-obstacles-legal-abortion


‘Absurd’ rules obstruct abortion access in Italy during COVID-19

‘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

Francesca Visser
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.

Continued: https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/5050/italy-access-abortion-during-covid/


Abortion provision thrown into doubt by coronavirus pandemic

Abortion provision thrown into doubt by coronavirus pandemic

By Laura Smith-Spark, Valentina Di Donato and Stephanie Halasz, CNN
March 27, 2020

London (CNN)As the coronavirus pandemic sweeps the globe, women's access to abortion is one of many healthcare provisions thrown into jeopardy.

The UK government caused confusion this week when it first announced that women would temporarily be allowed to access early medical abortion at home, rather than attending a clinic -- and then, hours later, reversed its decision.

Continued: https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/27/health/coronavirus-abortion-access-intl/index.html


Inside Italian public hospitals, I saw how a US-linked anti-abortion network is ‘humiliating’ women

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).

Francesca Visser
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.

Continued: https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/5050/inside-italian-public-hospitals-i-saw-how-a-us-linked-anti-abortion-network-is-humiliating-women/