Italy Legalizes DIY Abortions

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by Jules Gomes  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  August 10, 2020   

Bishops who condemn new law 'too few and isolated'

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ROME (ChurchMilitant.com) - Italy's last outpost against abortion has fallen. On Saturday, in one tweet, Health Minister Roberto Speranza gave mothers the "right" to murder their babies at home using the chemical RU486

The new directives allow for DIY pharmacological abortions until the ninth week without hospitalization.

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Pro-life parliamentarian Vito Comencini

"It is an important step forward in full compliance with [law]194, which is and remains a law of civilization," Speranza tweeted, signaling victory for pro-abortionists in a 10-year battle.

Law 194, the first abortion law to be passed in 1978 in predominantly Catholic Italy, permits voluntary abortion in a hospital or outpatient clinic for health, economic, social or family reasons in the first 90 days of gestation. After 90 days, only therapeutic abortion is allowed.

Pharmacological abortion, introduced in 2009 after many battles, has thus far been legal in Italy only in the first seven weeks of amenorrhea (absence of a menstrual period in a woman of reproductive age) — the World Health Organization recommends abortion with RU486 up to nine weeks.

Moreover, under the previous law, women undergoing a pharmacological abortion were required to be hospitalized for three days.

Parliamentarian: 'Serious' Risks

The new guidelines will allow the "RU486 abortion pill to be taken without compulsory hospitalization up to the ninth week of gestation," pro-life Catholic parliamentarian Vito Comencini told Church Militant.

"The health minister's decision is unacceptable," Comencini, a member of Matteo Salvini's Lega Party, said. "I share the position of the Movement for Life: With the new guidelines, women are left alone in a situation that also presents serious health risks."

"They are trying to get the message across that abortion is trivial. But this is not the case. The lives of many human beings are at stake," Comencini warned.

Expert Concurs

Speaking to Church Militant, Dr. Paolo Gulisano, former professor of the history of medicine at the University of Milan-Bicocca, said that the government was pushing "a type of devious abortion, which speeds up the times and which skips steps that could be fundamental for a woman who plans to end a pregnancy."

Perhaps it might surprise those who still imagine Italy as a Catholic country, but it hasn't been so for a while.

While the health minister claimed that the procedure was "safe," Professor Gulisano cautioned "this is not the case because the use of these drugs always involves risks for the health of those who take them."

"Everything is facilitated because, from the point of view of those who make these laws, the life of the conceived does not count. Only the possibility of eliminating it quickly and almost invisibly counts," the pro-life medic lamented.

"Italy is adapting to the situation of many other European countries, and it is not surprising. Perhaps it might surprise those who still imagine Italy as a Catholic country, but it hasn't been so for a while," Gulisano added.

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"The voices of bishops who will condemn this law will be too few and isolated. The Movement for Life has made its opposition felt, but there is no strong political reaction which in cases like this would be indispensable," he observed.

"In Parliament, only a few members of the opposition have challenged the law. Meanwhile, the exponents of the Culture of Death can act, further worsening the degree of civilization of the country," the specialist in hygiene and preventive medicine remarked.

Gulisano also pointed out that the guidelines were railroaded through "at a time when the government still applies a high degree of psychological pressure on Italian citizens, continuing to feed the fear of the coronavirus."

Bishops Silent

There was no official response from the Italian bishops' conference (CEI) or even individual bishops, as the announcement came as a "surprise."

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Eminent epidemiologist and pro-lifer Dr. Paulo Gulisano

Only La Repubblica, Italy's left-wing newspaper and a mouthpiece for Pope Francis' views and interviews, and Il Messaggero were tipped off and able to report the story at the same time as the health minister's tweet, wrote Antonella Mariani in Avvenire, the Italian bishops' news media.

Cost Control? 

The health minister's decision came two months after women in Perugia protested against the decision of the regional council in the Umbria region to provide hospitalization for those who take RU486.

The previous law mandated hospitalization to avoid the situation of women having to endure on their own the expulsion of a dead baby and the danger of bleeding at home, at work or on the street.

The voices of bishops who will condemn this law will be too few and isolated.

However, supporters of chemical abortion — who are now claiming it is a less invasive and "simpler" procedure — have made every effort to limit the hospitalization process.

Marina Casini from the Movement for Life pointed out that the government was pushing DIY abortions for economic reasons. They are "less expensive and save beds, anesthesia and even human investment of doctors and health workers."

"But we lose sight, through deception, that a human life is at stake," she said.

'Higher Mortality' vs. Surgery

Assuntina Morresi, associate professor of physical chemistry and member of the National Bioethics Committee explained:

Pharmacological abortion is intrinsically uncertain, as well as more painful and dangerous than surgical abortion. From the moment in which the woman takes the first of the two pills provided, the real RU486, she does not know if, when and under what conditions she will abort. That is, she does not know if, when and how the bleeding that marks the end of pregnancy will begin, and she cannot know beforehand what the side effects will be.

"The three-day hospitalization was therefore the way to protect women from the additional problems of this form of abortion, which, we recall, has a higher mortality than that of surgical abortion," she wrote in Avvenire.

RU486 (or mifepristone) is a synthesis antiprogestogen drug marketed in Italy and France under the name Mifegyne and in the United States under the name of Mifeprex.

Mifepristone kills the embryo and its companion drug prostaglandin facilitates the expulsion of the baby.

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