Abortion at the outpatient clinic: Italy at odds

Italy is changing its rules on drug-induced abortion. Health Minister Speranza announced on Saturday that from now on the administration of the abortion pill RU486 will be allowed up to the ninth week of pregnancy and without mandatory hospitalisation. The decision marks "an important step forward" while respecting the current legal situation, Speranza said. Representatives of Catholic associations have sharply criticised the move.

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La Stampa (IT) /

The Church wants women punished

The clergy who are opposing the introduction of RU486 simply want to see women who have an abortion suffer, sociologist Chiara Saraceno writes in La Stampa:

“After vigorously opposing the legalisation of abortion, they then opposed the legalisation of the RU486 pill, which terminates pregnancy without surgery. ... When they also failed with this initiative, they tried to force women to be hospitalised by playing up the pill's health risks - against all empirical evidence. … This broad, systematic campaign has allowed them to hinder the introduction of medical abortion into our country, even though it is less invasive and less risky than surgery - and less costly to the healthcare system.”

Avvenire (IT) /

A social problem is being privatised

Columnist Assuntina Morresi argues against the new regulation in Avvenire, saying that it is mainly driven by the desire to end a tiresome debate:

“The three-day hospital stay was a way of protecting women from the complications of this form of abortion, which has a higher mortality rate than surgical abortions. ... The reasons for the new regulation are therefore entirely political: RU486 is part of a path we have already seen in other countries, a path of 'privatising' abortion and banishing it from the public sphere. The distribution of a pharmacological procedure means that women are to be able to have abortions at home, as if abortion were something that only affects the private lives of those who choose to have one, and not primarily a social problem that affects everyone.”