Issued on: 23/09/2022
Italy’s surging far-right parties have been eroding abortion rights at the
regional level, adding further hurdles to what was already an obstacle course
for many women. With Giorgia Meloni’s right-wing coalition tipped to win the
country’s general election on Sunday, there are fears the same policies could
be replicated at the national level.
When Silvia* was taken off the pill on medical grounds, her doctor did not
mention the possibility of using other contraceptive methods. When she ended up
with an unwanted pregnancy months later, the same doctor chose to ignore her
request for an abortion.
The Brothers of Italy has further impeded access to abortion in the Marche region – a policy it could replicate nationally if it wins power
Angela Giuffrida in Ascoli Piceno
Mon 22 Aug 2022
When Giulia, 20, discovered she was pregnant she immediately decided that she wasn’t ready to have a baby. Supported by her boyfriend and family, she sought medical advice in her home town in Italy’s central Marche region on how to obtain an abortion. She faced obstacles at every turn, from telephones not being answered and surgeries being closed, to one doctor who tried to persuade her to change her mind.
Abortion in Italy was legalised in 1978, overturning an outright ban enforced by the fascist dictator Benito Mussolini who deemed it a crime against the Italian race, but the high number of gynaecologists who refuse to terminate pregnancies for moral reasons – 64.6%, according to 2020 data – has meant women still encounter huge difficulties in accessing safe procedures.
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.
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.
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.
Italy's Salvini Abortion Comments Fuel Ire
February 17, 2020
ROME - Italy's opposition leader Matteo Salvini provoked a vehement backlash on Monday after insinuating that migrant women who went to emergency rooms to seek an abortion led an "uncivilized" life.
The comments from the ex-interior minister and head of the far-right League that some women having abortions were using emergency rooms "like health ATMs" came during a political rally in Rome on Sunday.
Italy: Thousands protest against anti-abortion conference
Pro-choice activists took to the streets of Verona to protest an anti-abortion conference attended by Interior Minister Matteo Salvini. His coalition partner Luigi Di Maio described anti-abortion rhetoric as medieval.
Tens of thousands of people marched through the northern Italian city of Verona on Saturday to protest an international anti-abortion conference.
The three-day meeting organized by the US-based World Congress of Families (WCF) started on Friday and featured Interior Minister Matteo Salvini as Saturday's key speaker.
Conservative congress on family divides Italy
The Associated Press
Published: March 30, 2019
VERONA, Italy — A congress in Italy under the auspices of a U.S. organization that defines family as strictly centring around a mother and father has made Verona — the city of Romeo and Juliet — the backdrop for a culture clash over family values, with a coalition of civic groups mobilizing against what they see as a counter-reform movement to limit LGBT and women’s rights.
The World Congress of Families, which runs through Sunday, has revealed another rift in Italy’s governing coalition, as well as providing a platform for ultra-conservatives seeking to reopen the debate over abortion, legalized in Italy in 1978.
Italy’s Right Links Low Birthrate to Fight Against Abortion and Migration
By Jason Horowitz
March 27, 2019
VERONA — In a City Hall office decorated with ultrasound images of his children, a Crucifix and nesting dolls of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, Mayor Federico Sboarina explained why he had sought to make Verona the first “Pro-Life City” in Italy.
“This is the city of love, the city of Romeo and Juliet,” he said, “and the fruit of love is life.”