Italian actress Ornella Muti revealed in a recent interview that she was pressured by her agent to have an abortion when she was pregnant at 18.
Muti, also known as Francesca Romana Rivelli, spoke to Italian magazine Corriere della Sera about her long acting career, which began at 14.
Initially, Ms Muti spoke about being a single mother at 18. “It wasn’t that easy”, she said.
“It could be done without problems abroad”
When she found out she was pregnant, she was in the midst of filming. Muti revealed that both her mother and her film agent suggested abortion to her. Although abortion was illegal in Italy at the time, the mother of the Italian actress told her that “it could be done without problems abroad”.
Abortion became legal in Italy in 1978, four years after the birth of Naike, Ornella Muti’s firstborn child.
Ms Muti was adamant that she would not have an abortion just so that she could make a film. In response to pressure from her agent and mother, she affirmed “absolutely not!”.
Sadly, many women in the sport and entertainment industry have spoken about intense pressure to choose abortion. Female athletes have spoken up about being pressured into abortion and Irish singer Sinéad O’Connor revealed she was encouraged to have an abortion by a record producer and doctor. She recalls the doctor saying “Your record company has spent £100,000 recording your album. You owe it to them not to have this baby”.
Right To Life UK spokesperson Catherine Robinson said “Ornella Muti showed great bravery to withstand the pressure of those around her to choose abortion. Whilst the story ended well for Ms Muti and her daughter, all too often that is not the case”.
“UK polling has also shown that a shocking 7% of British women have been pressured into an abortion by their husband or partner. Such statistics contradict the idea that abortion is always the ‘choice’ it is claimed to be”.
“Women face all sorts of pressures to have an abortion. There may be professional or family pressure, perhaps medical and financial pressure. Whatever it may be, it is clear that abortion is not simply a matter of choice despite the slogans of the pro-choice movement. As a society, we need to support women so that they feel empowered to welcome new life”.