Italian legal system forcing clandestine abortions

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:

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