Italy Judge Orders 13 Year-Old to Have Abortion as Parents Oppose Birth

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 19, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Italy Judge Orders 13 Year-Old to Have Abortion as Parents Oppose Birth Email this article
Printer friendly page

by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 19
, 2007

Rome, Italy ( — An Italian judge has ordered a thirteen year-old girl to have an abortion because her parents are opposed to their daughter giving birth. The decision relies on laws in Italy that allow parents to make the pregnancy decisions for their teenage children.

The girl, from Torino, did not want to have an abortion but the ruling will compel her to do so.

The Italian newspaper La Stampa reports the decision has caused the teenager so much stress she has contemplated suicide and needed to receive psychological help as a result.

The unnamed girl became pregnant after have sexual relations with her 15 year-old boyfriend but she decided the best course of action was keeping the baby.

Laws in the United States vary by state about how parents are involved when a teenager gets pregnant. Some allow parents the right to be notified about a potential abortion or requires their consent to have an abortion while other states have no involvement laws.

Italian statues give parents the ultimate decision about whether a teenager can have an abortion or carry the baby to term. The way the law is worded, parents can require their children to keep their baby, give the baby up for adoption, or have an abortion.

A representative of the Catholic church said government officials should urge the parents not to force their daughter to have an abortion and said enough support exists to take care of the baby.

"The unborn baby is still a life and I defend life whatever the situation." Severino Poletto, Archbishop of Torino told the newspaper.

"Society must take of this child. I certainly oppose abortions but this case allows us to reflect on the situation. We have to take a step back and ask ourselves how this could have happened to a 13 year old girl" he added.

The incident follows two prominent cases of attempted forced abortions in the U.S.

In one case in Maine, Nicholas and Lola Kampf were charged with kidnapping on allegations that they bound their 19 year-old pregnant daughter Katelyn at gunpoint and put her in the car to take her to New York for an abortion.

Needing to go to the bathroom, Katelyn escaped at a local department store and used her parents’ cell phone to call police.

The Kampfs face 30 years in prison if convicted, though prosecutors said they are not going to press for a full jail sentence.

In Georgia, police arrested Rozelletta Blackshire after she and her daughters’ cousins tried to force the 16 year-old to drink turpentine to cause an abortion.