This article explores obstetricians-gynaecologists’ experiences and attitudes towards abortion, based on two mixed-methods studies respectively undertaken in Italy in 2011–2012, and in Spain (Cataluña) in 2013–2015. Short questionnaires and in-depth interviews were conducted with 54 obstetricians-gynaecologists at 4 hospitals providing abortion care in Rome and Milan, and with 23 obstetricians-gynaecologists at 2 hospitals and one clinic providing abortion care in Barcelona.
“The child’s heart is still beating.”: The story of the death of Valentina Milluzzo, a young woman from Catania, Sicily, in the 19th week of a pregnancy with twins
On 6 July, the Committee of Ministers under the European Social Charter adopted several resolutions after organisations filed formal complaints that women seeking abortions, and medical practitioners providing them, were being discriminated against in Italy.
The Council of Europe’s Social Rights Committee said Italy is violating women’s rights due to the serious difficulties they face in trying to obtain safe abortions because as many as 70% of doctors refuse to carry out the procedure.
The Italian Council of Ministers has approved a legislative decree to stop punishing abortion, but fines for “clandestine abortion” have at the same time been sharply raised. If the decree is passed by Parliament, women could be liable to pay fines of €5,000-10,000 instead of the current amount of €51. The Italian network of women’s associations against violence, Donne in rete contro la violenza, has mounted a campaign to protest against this decree.