Abortion in Italy is legal, but finding one is hard

Issued on: 14/06/2022

Rome (AFP) – For 40 years, gynaecologist Michele Mariano has been the only person performing abortions in Italy's conservative Molise region. He has delayed retiring twice because no one will replace him, many refusing to terminate pregnancies as conscientious objectors.

It's an extreme example, but emblematic of a wider issue in Italy, where abortion up to 90 days after conception has been legal since 1978 -- but many healthcare providers don't offer them.

Continued:  https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20220614-abortion-in-italy-is-legal-but-finding-one-is-hard

The complicated state of abortion access in Italy

June 9, 2022
4-Minute Listen, with Transcript

Abortion has been legal in Italy for more than 40 years. But most doctors refuse to perform them, making it difficult to find a provider. As in America, women in Italy fear this right will go away.

An expected Supreme Court ruling on Roe v. Wade has many Americans comparing U.S. abortion laws to other countries. Abortion in Italy has been legal for more than 40 years. It was allowed after a hard fight in a heavily Catholic country. Adam Raney reports from Rome that the fight isn't over.

Continued: https://www.npr.org/2022/06/09/1103884804/the-complicated-state-of-abortion-access-in-italy

The network of organisations seeking to influence abortion policy across Europe

The ultra-Christian, anti-abortion and far-right network is allegedly seeking to replicate anti-choice efforts in the US

Angela Giuffrida in Rome and Flora Garamvolgyi
Thu 26 May 2022

A network of ultra-Christian, anti-abortion and far-right organisations is building momentum in its quest to influence abortion policy in Europe as the US supreme court considers striking down Roe v Wade, the 1973 ruling that legalised the procedure in America.

Elements of the network originally came together under the name Agenda Europe, holding yearly summits across the continent between 2013 until at least 2018, by which time it had grown to comprise 300 participants, including politicians and Vatican diplomats.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/may/26/the-network-of-organisations-seeking-to-influence-abortion-policy-across-europe

Spain to ease abortion limits for over-16s and allow menstrual leave

Parental permission to end for terminations and up to five days’ leave a month for painful periods

Sam Jones in Madrid
Thu 12 May 2022

Spain’s Socialist-led coalition government is preparing a law that would allow women over the age of 16 to have abortions without permission from their parents or guardians, and introduce up to five days of menstrual leave a month.

The draft legislation, which is due to be approved by the cabinet next week, is intended to ensure that abortion is available to all those using the public health system, and that menstruation is treated as a proper health issue.

Continued:  https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/may/12/spain-to-ease-abortion-limits-for-over-16s-and-allow-menstrual-leave

Croatia: Mirela Čavajda: Rally in Support of Women Health Rights on Thursday 12th

By Jose Alfonso Cussianovich
9 May 2022

May 9, 2022 - Mirela Čavajda, a 39-year-old pregnant woman who requested an abortion in the 26th week of pregnancy after the fetus was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, had her request rejected by three hospitals in Zagreb. Donations from 1,472 citizens and 16 legal entities will cover Mirela's medical procedure that will take place in Slovenia.

The case of Mirela Čavajda, a 39-year-old pregnant woman whose request to have an abortion in the 26th week of pregnancy after the fetus was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor was rejected by three hospitals in Zagreb, has caused great outrage in the country, with demands for the reproductive rights and health rights of Croatian women to be respected.

Continued: https://www.total-croatia-news.com/lifestyle/62700-mirela-cavajda

Four disturbing aspects to Slovakia limiting abortion access for Ukrainian women

More reports about rapes by the Russian army against the Ukrainian girls and women who are arriving in Slovakia have been exposed. In the meantime, the Slovak parliament is discussing proposals on banning abortion for women without permanent residency. This cynical targeting of Ukrainian girls and women is disturbing, says Denisa Nešťáková.

22 April 2022
by Dr. Denisa Nešťáková

As more information on crimes perpetrated by the Russian army in Ukraine has been exposed, and more reports and testimonies on sexualised violence have been uncovered, the Slovak public has responded with horror. At first, society has been paralysed, but soon after, various NGOs started campaigns to collect and donate the so-called "morning-after" pills and abortion pills for Ukrainian girls and women raped and impregnated by Russian soldiers. Information on the availability of abortions in Slovakia was provided for them.

Continued: https://www.gwi-boell.de/en/2022/04/22/four-disturbing-aspects-slovakia-limiting-abortion-access-ukrainian-women

South Africa: One Second-Trimester Public Abortion Facility in the Entire Eastern Cape Is Not Good Enough

1 APRIL 2022
By Sibusisiwe Ndlela, Khanyisa Mapipa and Thokozile Mtsolongo

Second-trimester abortions, which occur between the beginning of the 13th and the end of the 20th week of pregnancy, are difficult to access in the public sector. This is mainly due to the lack of designated abortion facilities and the unavailability of abortion providers to provide the service.

Based on our work in the Eastern Cape, we found that these issues prevent women from accessing a second-trimester abortion in the public health system. Out of sheer desperation, some vulnerable women carrying unwanted pregnancies may resort to unsafe and illegal abortion providers.

Continued: https://allafrica.com/stories/202204010233.html

In Spain, abortions legal but barriers remain


Madrid (AFP) – When Spanish doctor Marta Vigara was 17 weeks pregnant, her waters broke and she quickly realised the prognosis for her pregnancy was "very bad".

A geriatric specialist working at Madrid's Clinico San Carlos hospital, she immediately went to her colleagues in the gynaecology department to have a therapeutic abortion.

Continued: https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20220307-in-spain-abortions-legal-but-barriers-remain

South Africa: Open Letter – It Takes More Than a March to Remedy Systemic Challenges to Abortion Access

4 MARCH 2022
By Sibusisiwe Ndlela, Khanyisa Mapipa and Thokozile Mtsolongo

The below is an open letter addressed to South Africa's Deputy Minister of Health Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo written by Sibusiwe Ndlela, Khanyisa Mapipa and Thokozile Mtsolongo, all of public interest law centre SECTION27.

Dear Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo
Your "Anti-Unsafe Termination of Pregnancy" march held on 17 February 2022 in Rustenburg, North West refers.

A march, in and of itself, cannot eliminate barriers that prevent women and girls from accessing safe abortions in the public health system. This is why we see this march, led by someone who has the power to eliminate many of those barriers, as a disingenuous attempt by the Department of Health to cover its failure to make meaningful steps towards the realisation of women's and girls' right to abortion.

Continued: https://allafrica.com/stories/202203050113.html

Why Was a Catholic Hospital Willing to Gamble With My Life?

Feb. 25, 2022
By Katherine Stewart

More than 20 states are poised to ban or severely restrict abortion if the Supreme Court decides to overturn or undermine Roe v. Wade this year. We know these laws and regulations will have a devastating effect on women’s rights and liberty, but many people do not realize how deeply they will reach into maternal medicine. You can’t take away the right to abortion without risking the health and lives of all women who become pregnant.

We can get a sense of why this is so by taking a look at the Catholic hospital systems. All Catholic health care facilities, including hospitals and clinics, and many affiliated providers are governed by the Ethical and Religious Directives, a numbered set of rules that apply Catholic doctrine to health care. These directives, which act as guidelines and impose limitations on the types of services and procedures these facilities are able to deliver, are codified by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/25/opinion/sunday/roe-dobbs-miscarriage-abortion.html