ITALY – Inside Italian public hospitals, a US-linked anti-abortion network is ‘humiliating’ women

An Italianfederation of anti-abortion activists, linked to the US religious right, is “infiltrating”hospitals to stop abortions. Francesca Visser of Open Democracy saw them inaction at the San Pio Hospital in Benevento.

In 2017, the entire Benevento province was briefly left withno abortion provider after the only non-objector at the San Pio hospitalretired. Today abortion services are available only two days a week. Oneach of those days, every week, another obstacle awaits women: local activistsconnected to an international network of so-called ‘crisis pregnancy centres’that seek to reach women considering abortions and stop them from making thatchoice.

Visser, in an“undercover” role, was offered a flyer that said: “Mom, there is alwaysa solution to your problems, but there is no remedy for abortion.” Inside weregraphic images and frightening claims that having an abortion carries manyserious risks. She was told she could face “post-abortion syndrome”, which doesnot exist, and a 50% increased risk of breast cancer, which is not true, andmore.

According to 2017 data from theMinistry of Health,there are only 381 public or private health facilities that provide abortionsnationwide, but more than 400 anti-abortion centres.

SOURCE: Open Democracy, by Francesca Visser, 9 March 2020 (In Italiano); PHOTO:San Pio Hospital, Benevento, by Francesca Visser