SAN MARINO – Union of San Marino Women await date for referendum to legalise abortion

The Union of San Marino Women (UDS) have been working since February 2021 to collect signatures to support a referendum they hope will lead to the legalisation of abortion. San Marino (33,000 inhabitants), landlocked between the regions of Emilia-Romagna and Marche in north-central Italy, is one of the few states in Europe where abortion is not permitted at all. The Penal Code provides for a sentence of three to six years’ imprisonment for a woman who has an abortion and for anyone who participates in the abortion, whatever the reasons.

On 15 March the college guaranteeing constitutionality declared the referendum question admissible. Since then the UDS has put on banquets and events in squares, bars and meeting points. The question asks to legalise abortion up to 12 weeks, and beyond this deadline if there is a risk to the life of the woman or serious malformations of the fetus. On 31 May, a UDS delegation delivered 3,028 authenticated signatures, many more than they needed and earlier than expected. On 10 June, the supervisory board validated the signatures. They are now waiting for the date of the vote to be set.

“We are confident,” Elena D’Amelio Mueller, one of the executive committee of the UDS, said. As happened in Ireland in 2018, the conquest of the right to have an abortion could change the law through the will of the people.

SOURCE: Breaking Latest News, by Claudia Torrisi, 21 June 2021 ; Courrier International, 23 June 2021. Original report in the Italian weekly Internazionale.