Italy: toward the challenging of the law authorizing abortion?

Publié le : 27 June 2012

In an article published in the Hunffington Post, an Italian lawyer ponders the impact of the Oliver Brüstle / Greenpeace eV ruling about the Italian legislation concerning abortion.
In 1978, Italy decided on "a legal status for the right to voluntary abortion", by law No. 194. Since 2012, "the European economic crisis and the internal democratic and political crises have contributed to the immersion in a climate of diffuse violence which focuses, first and foremost, on women".

According to the United nation’s special reporter on violence to women "feminicide is the primary cause of death in Italy for women aged between 16 and 44 years". According to Italian lawyer, Giovanna Marsico, the term "feminicide" aims at the "physical, psychological, economical and institutional destruction of woman as such".
At the request of the Italian court in Spoleto, "The Constitutional Court [was] addressed with regard to the legitimacy of article 4 of Law No. 194, […] regulating voluntary abortion during the first 90 days of pregnancy". In reporting the words of the judge of the Spoleto court, Giovanna Marsico explains that "the faculty of voluntarily having an abortion is confronted by the fundamental right to the recognized protection of the embryo by the Court of Justice of the European Community [CJEC]". Indeed, according to the CJEU, "as soon as it is fertilized, every human ovule must be considered as a human embryo if such fertilization is liable to initiate the development process of a human being " [Author’s note: Court of Justice of the European Union, case C-34/10 – Oliver Brüstle / Greenpeace eV].

With respect to this decision of the CJEC, the Italian lawyer stipulates that "the fundamental rights of the people (art. 2) and the right to health of the individuals (art.32) [of law 194], are jeopardized by a method designed to destroy the embryo". In addition, according to the Italian Ministry of Health, in the country there would be"large numbers of conscientious objectors among health professionals: On average, 7 gynaecologists out of 10 and one anaesthetist out of 2, refuse to carry out abortions".

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