Council of Europe committee attacks Italian law allowing doctors to refuse abortions

LifeSite News

Hilary White

ROME, March 10, 2014  ( – The International Planned Parenthood Federation has scored a major victory against conscientious objection laws in Italy at the Council of Europe. The council’s European Committee of Social Rights voted this weekend to uphold IPPF’s complaint against Italy that too many doctors are allowed to refuse to participate in abortion.

The complaint was launched in November 2012 by International Planned Parenthood Federation European Network (IPPFEN) claiming that Italian doctors were “abusing” the right, granted in Italy’s abortion law, not to be forced to commit abortions. It alleged that the Italian law is in “violation of the right to health … due to inadequate protection of the right to access procedures for the termination of pregnancy.”

The law, they said, “does not indicate the precise means through which hospitals and regional authorities are to guarantee the adequate presence of non-objecting medical personnel in all public hospitals, so as to always ensure the right of access to procedures for the termination of pregnancy.”

“Due to this lack in the normative framework, there exists an inadequate application of Law no. 194 of 1978, as demonstrated by the facts relating to practice, which in turn compromises the rights to life, health and self-determination of women seeking to terminate a pregnancy.” [Full Text]

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