Italy Needs Abortion Doctors

The Daily Beast

Barbie Latza Nadeau

ROME — If a woman wants to end her pregnancy in Italy, she has the legal right to do so under the public health system within the first 90 days, or first trimester, of the gestation. The law, known in Italy as Law 194, has been on the books for nearly 40 years, but it has one major flaw, say pro-choice advocates: It allows for doctors, nurses, anesthetists, and other assistants to an abortion procedure to be conscientious objectors. Boiled down, that means that many administrators of hospitals and clinics who do not support the pro-choice law simply hire abortion doctors who object to performing abortions.

The practice of hiring conscientious objectors is all-too-common across Italy. The national estimate of conscientious objectors hired as public health gynecologists mandated to perform abortions is around 70 percent, meaning seven out of 10 doctors can, but won’t, do the procedure. . . [Full text]

 

One thought on “Italy Needs Abortion Doctors

  1. The claim that the protection of conscience clause in the law was intended to prevent abortion rather than to ensure freedom of conscience, if true, is indicative of an abuse of legal process. With respect to the reference to the woman who “had to try 23 different hospitals” —
    “An inquest has established that she had an appointment for an abortion but then had an anxiety crisis and made 23 phone calls to around ten other hospitals to find out if she could have an abortion in one of those. Eventually the abortion was performed as planned and according to the law that prescribes a time limit of 28 days from the first visit. In any event, in this particular region more than 5,000 abortions are performed every year so why would someone have to call so many hospitals to find a suitable one?” See Dr. Angelo Bottone, “Anti-conscientious objection article in Irish Times very misleading.”

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