The Obstacles to the Application of the Law 194


  • Anna Pompili ASL RME, “Sapienza” University of Rome, I


Unsafe abortion, Legal abortion , Law 194, Conscientious objection , Abortion providers’, “burn out”


Law 194 was introduced in Italy in 1978, following a campaign by women’s groups, but also following the rise in illegal abortions and related deaths; after quite 40 years, we are now assisting to the dangerous return to illegality, related with the obstacles to the application of the law. The main causes of this phenomena are: the conscientious objection, the noncompliance of the law and the providers’ “burn-out”. The law permits to medical and non medical personnel to refuse to carry out abortions on conscientious grounds, but this right is greatly abused, with harmful consequences on women’s health. Another huge obstacle is represented by the non-compliance of the law: the hospital’s “objection”, the scarce accessibility to medical abortion, the lack of scientific, practical and ethic formation of the providers. The provider’s “burn-out” is the last obstacle, a hidden but not secondary factor. A new, really non religious thought, becomes thus a necessity for our life and for women’s health.