Italy Sees Abortion Drop Three Percent as More Doctors Refuse to Do Them

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 22, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Italy Sees Abortion Drop Three Percent as More Doctors Refuse to Do Them

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 22
, 2008

Rome, Italy ( — Italy is seeing abortions drop as more physicians decline to do abortions and prefer to see women keep their baby and carry the pregnancy to term. A new report indicates as many as 70 percent of all doctors in Italy won’t do abortions, which has helped the abortion figures drop three percent.

The new report from the nation’s ministry of health finds about 59 percent of doctors refused to do abortions in 2003 and, as of last year, the figure rose to just over 69 percent.

At the same time, the number of anesthesiologists refusing to take part in abortions rose from 45.7 percent to 50.4 percent.

"In the south, this increase is even more pronounced and in certain areas the rate has almost doubled," the report says, according to an AFP article.

The French Press Agency said the report finds that in Naples and Sicily the number of doctors refusing to do abortions jumps to well over 80 percent.

The decision by medical professionals to refuse to take part in abortions has helped the abortion total drop from 131,018 in 2006 to 127,038 in 2007.

Abortions in Italy have been declining, dropping from 234,801 abortions in 1982 to 136,715 in 2004, but pro-life advocates would like to drive that number down even further.

Italy’s abortion law allows abortions up to 24 weeks of pregnancy in certain cases but it also requires doctors to do all they can to save the life of a baby who survives a botched abortion attempt.