Abortion in Italy


Abortion in Italy

Abortion in Italy became legal in May 1978, when Italian women were granted the right to terminate a pregnancy, upon request, during the first 90 days. Although a proposal to repeal the law was considered in a 1981 national referendum, it was rejected by nearly 80% of voters. Italian women are eligible to request an abortion for health, economic, social or family-planning reasons. Abortions are performed free-of-charge in public hospitals or in private structures authorized by the regional health authorities.

Legal induced abortions

Since 1980, the Laboratory of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS) in Rome has maintained a surveillance system for legal induced abortions. This system is based on quarterly reporting by the regional health authorities. A standardized form is compiled that contains aggregate data on major social-demographic characteristics of the woman (age, residency status, marital status, reproductive history) as well as details about the procedure (weeks of gestation, whether the procedure is elective or performed on an emergency basis, where certification was issued, type of procedure and location where it was performed, duration of stay, and immediate complications. This information is then sent to the ISS, which examines data quality and performs data analysis of trends, geographic distribution, and characteristics of women undergoing abortion. These analyses are performed annually by the ISS and the Ministry of Health (MH) and presented by the Minister of Health to the Parliament; results are also published in ISTISAN reports, an official publication of the ISS. Italy is considered to have one of the most accurate and timely abortion surveillance systems in the world.

Abortion per 1,000 live births

In 1993, the abortion ratio in Italy was 262 abortions per 1,000 live births (Table 2). However, this measure also varies regionally. The central and northern regions (in particular Emilia-Romagna, Liguria and Tuscany) are characterized by relatively low TFRs (one lifetime birth per woman), high abortion rates and elevated abortion ratios. While low levels of fertility can also be found in some of the northwestern regions, abortion rates are moderate in these regions (9-12 abortions per 1,000); therefore, abortion ratios in a few of these areas are closer to the national level.

Subsequent to the legalization of abortion in Italy in 1978, abortion rates among Italian women first rose and then declined steadily, from a peak of 16.9 abortions per 1,000 women of reproductive age in 1983 to 9.8 per 1,000 in 1993. Abortion rates vary considerably by geographic region, with rates typically highest in the more secular regions and lowest in regions where traditional values predominate. Data from 1981 and 1991 indicate that age-specific abortion rates decreased during the 1980s for all age-groups, with the largest declines occurring in regions with the highest levels of abortion. Moreover, a shift in the age distribution of abortion rates occurred during the 1980s, with women aged 30-34 registering the highest abortion rate in 1991, whereas in 1981 the highest level of abortion occurred among those aged 25-29. The abortion rate among adolescent women was low at both times (7.6 per 1,000 in 1981 and 4.6 per 1,000 in 1991). These data are based only on reported legal abortions; the number of clandestine abortions remains unknown.

A phenomenon to emerge in recent years has been an increase in the number of abortions requested by immigrant women. Among the 138,357 abortions performed in 1993, 13,826 (10%) involved foreign residents, an increase from 9,850 in 1996. This increase is most likely due to the rising number of immigrant women in Italy; the resident permits, for example, according to the data of the National Statitstics Institute (ISTAT), have increased from 678,000 in 1995 to 1,100,000 in1999. Based on estimates of the population of immigrant women 18-49 years of age, Istat has calculated that the AR for immigrant women was 28.7/1000 in 1998, approximately three times higher than that observed in Italian citizens. Indeed the increase in the numbers of immigrant women may be the main cause of the leveling-off of abortion rate in Italy. If the analysis of trends is limited to 1996-1998, years for which information is most complete on residency status, the number of abortions in Italian women declined from 127,700 in 1996 to 123,728 in 1998

Abortion Incidence

In 1993, approximately 140,000 induced abortions were performed in Italy. In comparison, the average annual number during the period 1982-1984 was more than 230,000. Similar patterns can also be seen in abortion rates (Table 1, page 268). After legalization, abortion rates rose modestly, increasing from 13.7 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44 in 1979 to a peak of 16.9 per 1,000 in 1982 and 1983. During the period 1982-1984, Italian abortion rates stabilized, and this period was followed by a steady decline: By 1986, the rate had dropped to 14.0 abortions per 1,000 women, and by 1990 it had reached 11.1 per 1,000; by 1993, the abortion rate had decreased to 9.8 per 1,000.

References

#Spinelli, Angela, & Grandolfo, Michele. (2001). [http://faculty.cua.edu/pennington/Law111/ItalyAbortion.htm Abortion in Italy] . "Bollettino Epidemiologico Nazionale, 14 (4)". Retrieved October 18, 2007."Abortion in Italy ." Ben Epicentro. 1 Apr. 2001. BEN-Notiziario ISS- Vol.14-n.4. 1 .Salvini Bettarini, Silvana. "Induced Abortion in Italy: levels, Trends, and Charastics." Guttmacher Institute . 6 Nov. 1996. Family Planning Perspectives. 1 .


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Abortion in the United States — has been legal in every state since the United States Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, on January 22, 1973. Prior to Roe , there were exceptions to the abortion ban in at least 10 states; Roe established that a woman has a right to self… …   Wikipedia

  • Abortion in India — has been legal since 1971. Contents 1 Legal status 2 Sex selective abortion 3 Indications for early medical abortion 3.1 General condition to be fulfilled …   Wikipedia

  • Italy — /it l ee/, n. a republic in S Europe, comprising a peninsula S of the Alps, and Sicily, Sardinia, Elba, and other smaller islands: a kingdom 1870 1946. 57,534,088; 116,294 sq. mi. (301,200 sq. km). Cap.: Rome. Italian, Italia. * * * Italy… …   Universalium

  • Abortion law — legend|#B3B3B3|No informationAbortion law is legislation which pertains to the provision of abortion. Abortion has at times emerged as a controversial subject in various societies because of the moral and ethical issues that surround it, though… …   Wikipedia

  • Abortion — Induced abortion Classification and external resources ICD 10 O04 …   Wikipedia

  • Abortion debate — Antilife redirects here. For the comic book equation , see Anti Life Equation. The abortion debate refers to discussion and controversy surrounding the moral and legal status of abortion. The two main groups involved in the abortion debate are… …   Wikipedia

  • Abortion and mental health — The relationship between induced abortion and mental health is an area of political controversy.[1][2][3] The issue has been part of the political debate over abortion, dating to 1988 when U.S. President Ronald Reagan directed Surgeon General C.… …   Wikipedia

  • Minors and abortion — Contents 1 Minors and abortion in law 1.1 Canada 1.2 United States 1.3 South Africa 1.4 Spain …   Wikipedia

  • List of articles about abortion by country — This is a list of articles about abortion by country.*Abortion in Argentina *Abortion in Australia *Abortion in Brazil *Abortion in Canada *Abortion in Chile *Abortion in the Czech Republic *Abortion in El Salvador *Abortion in Finland *Abortion… …   Wikipedia

  • Christianity and abortion — A Christian pro life prayer vigil in London …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.