Giorgia Meloni has clearly stated, over and over again, that she would never touch abortion rights in Italy. Law 194, created in 1978, stipulated that abortions before the 90 days of pregnancy can be granted through public hospitals. However, the abortions must be granted by a doctor, who, in Italy, can be objectors to abortions. Italy already has very few pro-abortion doctors, and it has always been hard to get an abortion.
In some regions, there are almost no pro-abortion doctors. In her three weeks in office, she has created funds to bribe women questioning having a baby into an economic bonus and has funded anti-abortion activists over 400,000 euros. Factors that undeniably undermine law 194. Two weeks ago, one of the politicians in her political party, Eugenia Roceeli of Fratelli D’Italia, spoke on a TV program on abortion- stating that “feminists have never believed in the right to choose.”
Beneath manipulated feminist propaganda and female conservative party leaders, is the right to choose to be dismantled by these feminist leaders under false pretenses?
From time to time, many female politicians have been proven to be puppets in a far-right, male-controlled fantasy that exploits women and their positions of power to control the female reproductive system and women's choices and rights. I wonder if similar is being done with Meloni, Truss, and the rise of conservatism.
Female leaders pushed a far-right ideology down the throats of many in Europe and the states. While we disdain in horror what is happening in Iran under an extremely conservatism, constrictive and lethal approach to female emancipation, we see female conservatism politics in Europe and look at it with an all too passive approach.
Women that see Giorgia Meloni as a solution to female emancipation in Italy forget that politicians under agencies and ideologies that do not favor women cannot emancipate women. The political ideal she believes in and her ideologies are not in line with female emancipation, which has been demonstrated since she took office. Is breaking the glass ceiling, in this case, an excuse for us to passively have our rights taken away?
Since Giorgia Meloni has become Presidente del Consiglio, she has denied that abortions are inaccessible to Italian women and wants to "stand by the side of women who want to have babies but are under economic pressure." She denies wanting to change law 194, which provides access to abortion, but is doing everything she can to make law 194 useless. Law 194 becomes valuable only if serious medical programs are funded for women's reproductive healthcare to be accessible and recognized by doctors.
Only one week after taking office, as already mentioned, she proceeded to fund 400,000 euros to anti-abortion activist groups. The economic bonus she launched, to help females carry a baby, only aids the woman and child until the 18th month of life.
Most see this as a positive thing, as many do not understand there is a myriad of reasons why a woman wants to have an abortion, which starts from the lack of healthcare access woman has. Moreover, regardless of the utility of the bonus, why was taxpayer's money granted to a group of activists that stand against abortion, creating more tensions and politicizing female reproductive rights even furtherly?
In Italy, the approach to abortion is similar to other European countries. Getting an abortion, which can only be performed in hospitals or in extreme and inaccessible cases, through at-home medication, can only be performed once the woman receives permission from a doctor. Objecting doctors plays a fundamental role because finding a doctor who will give the woman permission to get an abortion is fewer and fewer.
According to the new investigation on objecting doctors by Chiara Lalli and Sonia Montegiove, a professor of History of Medicine and a journalist, there are 32 hospitals in Italy with 100% of staffed doctors against abortion. In these 50 hospitals, objecting doctors constitute 90% of the staff, and in over 80 hospitals, the objection rate is 80%.
A second part of the research to consider is how many doctors that are pro-abortion (33% of all Italian doctors, according to their research) would consider performing an IVG.
Lalli and Montegiove, authors of the Mai Dati survey, also found that among the non-objecting doctors, the amount who perform the IVG are very few. Most only perform ultrasound scans, or work in hospitals where IVG services aren’t performed.
“The national percentage of gynecologists who are not conscientious objectors (which, according to the Report, is 33%) must therefore be further reduced because not all non-objectors perform IVG. It is not enough to know the average percentage of objectors by region to know if access to the IVG is really guaranteed in a specific health facility. Because getting an abortion is a medical service and cannot be a treasure hunt". (Il sole 24 Ore, legge 194)
Therefore, Meloni tells the truth by stating she did not interfere with the legality of abortion. Nevertheless, paying anti-abortion activists to fund women for their choices by bribing them instead of funding accessible healthcare and programs that support women in any of their choices further creates tensions and politicizes the right to choose.
In order to create a fair system of choice for females, healthcare and doctors must be funded to create new ways of assisting females and their reproductive healthcare. As we have seen in the last decade, female reproductive rights are more volatile than we thought. So voting, as a female, must represent this very right.
Voting for a female who does not believe in female reproductive rights, whether she is a woman or not, will determine the rights of every woman in the country. Moreover, these rights trickle down to economic, political, and female public rights. Access to proper healthcare for all is necessary for our communities and cannot be forgotten by female or male politicians.
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