70% of Doctors in Italy Refuse to Perform Abortions, Up From 59% 8 Years Ago

International   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Mar 11, 2016   |   4:03PM   |   Rome, Italy

Young adults are increasingly pro-life – and not just in America.

A new Italian government study found that young Italian doctors are refusing to do abortions in higher rates than before, according to The Guardian. The Italy Department of Health reports seven in 10 Italian gynecologists refused to do abortions on the grounds of conscientious objection in 2013 – up from 59 percent from 2005.

Data from the Italian government found the number of gynecologists who refuse to do abortions is even higher in some areas of Italy. In the southern regions of Molise and Basilicata, more than 90 percent of gynecologists said they refuse to do abortions – double the percentage from 2005, according to the data.

Some say these numbers, coupled with a rise in the number of miscarriages in Italy, may indicate that women are trying to abort their babies themselves, according to the report:

The issue is worrying a relatively small but vocal group of doctors who are nearing retirement age and say that Italy is facing a crisis of the availability of certain kinds of abortion, with many younger doctors uninterested and even unprepared to take on the task. At the same time, they fear more women are taking matters into their own hands.

On paper, the number of abortions in Italy has declined over the last three decades, from 233,976 in 1983 to 102,760 in 2013. But over the same period of time, the number of miscarriages has increased from 93.2 per 1,000 live births to 138.5.

Disputing a link, the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart’s healthcare observatory, which tracks regional data, said the increase in miscarriages was likely to reflect the fact that women were having children at an older age.

According to the report, in Italy, abortion is legal for any reason up to 90 days of pregnancy and later in cases where the woman has a physical or mental risk or where the unborn baby has a deformity.

In America, abortion groups also report a shortage of abortionists. According to the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, in 1982, there were 2,918 abortion doctors practicing in America, but by 2011 there were only 1,720.



A recent Bloomberg study, published in February, reported a number of abortion clinics have closed in the past few years because abortionists retired and no one was willing to take their places.

Randy K. O’Bannon, PhD., director of education and research for the National Right to Life Committee, reported at LifeNews that abortion groups are responding to the shortage by trying to push states to allow non-doctors to do abortions and to legalize dangerous webcam abortions.

Though abortion activists blame stigma and harassment for the shortage, statistics indicate that fewer young people approve of abortion.

In 2003, Gallup polled Americans between the ages of 13 and 17 and found that they overwhelmingly believed that abortion was morally wrong. Then, in 2010, Gallup published an article “Generational Differences on Abortion Narrow” with data showing that young people were more pro-life than their parents, the 30-49 group and the 50-64 group.

The Italian government data adds to the evidence that young people believe unborn babies deserve the same rights as everyone else.