Catholics in Italy expressed outrage this week after learning that a hospital near the Vatican plans to hire two doctors to perform abortions on unborn babies, AFP reports.
Cardinal Camillo Ruini said the online job ad for San Camillo public hospital specifically included abortion among the duties required for the two obstetricians.
Not only would the hospital be destroying unborn babies’ lives through the two positions, but it also may be violating doctors’ conscience rights by requiring that they do abortions, Ruini said.
The ad is “another demonstration of the tendency to challenge and block conscientious objection,” Ruini said.
Abortions are legal in the first trimester in Italy, but the Catholic Church’s strong pro-life teachings have influenced many Italian doctors to refuse to abort babies in the womb.
Here’s more from AFP:
Two specialised obstetricians are due to start work at Rome’s San Camillo public hospital in the coming days after responding to a job advertisement that notably said they would carry out abortions.
But the ad sparked criticism from the Catholic church, which said the job description meant any doctors planning to use their right to refuse to carry out abortions would be ruled out of the running. …
Regional health chief Nicola Zingaretti rejected the complaints, insisting that “conscientious objection is 100 percent guaranteed” for the two hospital positions.
A recent Italian government survey of doctors found 70 percent refused to do abortions, including an increasing number of young doctors, according to The Guardian. The Italy Department of Health reported seven in 10 Italian gynecologists refused to do abortions on the grounds of conscientious objection in 2013 – up from 59 percent from 2005.
In some areas of Italy, the rate is even higher. 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.
Abortions in Italy hit their lowest point in 2015 since the country legalized the deadly procedure almost 40 years ago, a report from the Italian Ministry of Health found in December.
The report showed a 9.3 percent drop in abortions from 2014, the continuation of a decade-long decline. According to the report, there were fewer than 90,000 abortions in Italy in 2015. In 1983, the highest recorded year for abortions, 234,801 unborn babies lost their lives to abortion, according to the report.