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Check This: Abortion Debate Revisited in Italy

Elections in Italy are only two months away, and an unexpected issue — abortion — has now taken center stage. Thirty years ago, the Catholic country legalized abortion. But just last week, an intense situation at a Naples hospital sparked pro-choice rallies across the country.

In what is being described as an anti-mafia type raid, Naples police stormed a hospital after getting word that a woman had had an abortion after the legal cut off. Police interrogated the woman who was still under anesthesia from the procedure, and seized the terminated fetus. In fact, the woman was only 21 weeks along, within the 24 week cut off.

Pro-choice Italians are not the only ones getting fired up about the issue. Giuliano Ferrara, a conservative journalist and close ally of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, recently began using his newspaper as a platform for his pro-life position. He announced that he will seek election to parliament in April, and will be running on an anti-abortion platform.

Obviously abortion is a controversial and touchy subject spurring passionate opinions. But, how do you feel about how police handled the situation in Naples? Is there any way to police alleged late abortions? And, also — what do you think about politicians running on a single issue, whether it be anti-abortion, or anti-war? Would you vote for a politician who promised to address the issue most important to you, even if you disagreed with him or her on the rest?


Join The Conversation
bailaoragaditana bailaoragaditana 9 years
Ew. Just... wth? How horrible. I don't think abortion is a great thing, but it can be necessary, and it should ALWAYS be an option for a woman who doesn't want to be pregnant. ALWAYS. I'd much rather that society did more to prevent unwanted pregnancy, and more to make it easier for women to keep babies they do have, but that's unfortunately not the way of the world.
LibertySugar LibertySugar 9 years
FYI everyone — the wording in the story is cleaned up to be more accurate. I will use the proper term, pro-choice, from now on! Thanks for all the interesting comments on this story!
bethany21 bethany21 9 years
They took the fetus?!? Really? I cannot get over that.
geebers geebers 9 years
Trixie- thank you for saying that. This article is SO disturbing.
trésjolie1 trésjolie1 9 years
Cabaker: :) !
Trixie6 Trixie6 9 years
Wow. Storming the hospital and interrogating the woman while she was still under anesthesia? What a bunch of assholes. Seriously. Personally, I find abortion horrible. However, I realize that what I choose to do with my body is of noone's business just as it's not my business what anyone else chooses to do with theirs. If a woman is pregnant and chooses to have an abortion, that is her business. She's the one that has to deal with the ramifications, good or bad, of that choice. The other thing that pisses me off about the abortion debate is the way the Bible is brought into it. I'm a Catholic, but I would never EVER think to tell someone that they're going to hell because they have had an abortion. Doesn't the Bible say, "Judge not, lest ye be judged"?
KrisSugar KrisSugar 9 years
There is a relatively new Pope. 2005 I think? I have always heard that he is more conservative, or at least takes a firmer stand than the last one. (correct me if i'm wrong). Is it possible that he's been there long enough to gain momentum and support for the idea that abortion should not be ignored? Sometimes it takes a while to motivate people.
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
I wonder if there have been debates about civil rights or if the police force has had some other violations of privacy or shocking acts like this one and then this just pushed the citizens over the edge...
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
Liberty - Probably because the incident was so shocking! I honestly cannot imagine how awful that situation must have been.
LibertySugar LibertySugar 9 years
Hey everyone! When I was reading some of the international press on the story, I realized that they don't use the same loaded terms we use in the US. So, "pro-abortion" doesn't exactly pack the same punch. It's more of a descriptive word. I think it's fascinating that words become extremely powerful tools in such a passionate debate. Obviously abortion is an intense issue around the world. Why do you think it's been relatively irrelevant, politically speaking, in Italy for 30 years, but flared up again after one incident?
KrisSugar KrisSugar 9 years
I totally agree with you tresjolie on the skirting of the word. we do skirt around the word. In fact, i was behind a truck this morning on the way to work that had at least 6 pro-life stickers on the back tail-gate. In what i call an "opinion assault," this guy made it very clear where he stood, and I don't think the word abortion was used once. It was all Bible verse, and why "if you're reading this you should thank your mother," etc. Even people who are clearly passionate about it rarely use the word. (just going on memory) And as for politicians, sure they skirt around it. They don't want to lose votes. And if one of their debutante daughters became pregnant, I think they might look at abortion differently. That's just my opinion, of course!
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
Tresjolie, I agree with you! Oh happy day! :)
trésjolie1 trésjolie1 9 years
I completely understand your feelings and reasoning, Krissugar. I agree that for (not pro) abortion sounds harsh, especially compared to pro choice. I only object to the fact that we jump around the bush, as if it is a dangerous subject, or word. Politicians don't use the word abortion at all, even if they are dead against it. They say "taking of lives", or something similar. It creates some sort of bubble around the arguments, and impossible to have a discussion where you actually interact with the opposing sentiment. If we have to sugar coat it, or hide aspects of it, it will be difficult get anywhere. This is not directed at any one on this site, and I don't expect everyone to feel the same way as I do on this subject. I'm more than happy to hear what people find to be wrong about it. But saying you are pro life is not an argument in it self, in my opinion.
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 9 years
okay the whole seizing the foetus thing was just so wrong
KrisSugar KrisSugar 9 years
I think saying you are pro-choice probably sounded less harsh when it was coined. saying you were pro-abortion might have had a harsh connotation. You know, as if you are some careless woman out to kill babies. Like you don't care about the mother, or the baby. And those of us who are pro-choice know that isn't true. And to me, pro-choice means i am FOR a choice. I personally don't know what i would do if i were pregnant and did not want to be. In most cases, I think I would consider that baby a blessing and have it, and keep it. However, I cannot presume to know what anyone else's circumstances are.
CitizenSugar CitizenSugar 9 years
Morning Daisie! You're right it is a tough word--the whole pro-life/pro-choice dichotomy (good point Tresjolie!) is really one of the most skilled brandings the English language has seen in a while--though we're not used to hearing it, maybe saying pro-abortion can mean one is in favor of the concept legally existing, without wishing for its necessity? It stood out to me too, but thinking about it...what do you think?
trésjolie1 trésjolie1 9 years
I think pro life and pro choice are very flawed terms, I mean, who isn't for life? Or choice? I think the discussion in general would benefit from using for or against abortion. Let's call a spade a spade. I'm for abortion, not meaning that we should all go ahead and do it, but I am for it being a choice in difficult situations. Pretty awful to storm into that woman's procedure. Sounds like the approach of witch burning from back in the day. They weren't even right; it was a legal abortion.
fuzzles fuzzles 9 years
Daisie, I agree with you. The wording struck me so that it was distracting while reading the rest of the article.
Daisie Daisie 9 years
Sorry....that should be directed at LibertySugar.
Daisie Daisie 9 years
"sparked pro-abortion rallies across the country." Really, Citizen? It's not really semantics here....but they are pro abortion? Are you sure you didn't mean pro-choice in the beginning there? HUGE difference.
wackdoodle wackdoodle 9 years
Sorry trying to apply US law to the situation in Italy *wouldn't work* is what I meant.
wackdoodle wackdoodle 9 years
First off WOW! The whole situation with the police storming the hospital and seizing the terminated fetus and questioning the women under anesthesia - then finding out they were completely wrong - WOW! I hope they apologized profusely to the woman, I'm sure her decision to end her pregnancy was difficult enough without becoming a chapter out of The Handmaiden Tale. So could the police have done anything different - I have no idea, I'm unfamiliar with Italian law and trying to apply US law to the situation would work. Different country different laws and rules about what is and its acceptable police behavior. Politicians campaigning on only one issue - well that's never good IMHO. It's like a band that only has one good song and goes on tour. It's a waste of everyone time. Work on developing some depth because what happens if oddity of oddities - the politician actually resolves the sole and only issue they campaigned on - then what? Resign, go on vacation, sit in their office with their feet up collecting paycheck - nah they need to be well-rounded people. They don't have to nor do I expect a politician to have all of the answers but I do hope that they know that there's more than one issue and they have backup plans and other ideas etc. Lastly would I vote for a one note wonder? I have before in a local election and ABCD candidate Anyone But Chris Daly. The person ran simply on the premise that they were not Chris Daly. I knew it was a pointless election as CD had the money and has the incumbent but the votes that registered for the other persons who sole platform position was that he was not Chris Daly got the point across.
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