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Thousands take to streets in Rome for 10th Italian March for Life

On 22 May, thousands of pro-life activists took to the streets of Rome for the 10th Marcia per la Vita (March for Life), with many more watching via livestream.

Virginia Coda Nunziante, the President of the march’s organising committee, said “We affirm the intangibility of innocent human life, from conception to natural death, because we are convinced that nothing is irreversible in history”.

Many leading figures in the Italian pro-life movement also publicly addressed the rally.

Jacopo Coghe, vice president of Pro Vita e Famiglia said: “[We are] here to say yes to life and freedom… we are here to ask that the first of human rights be recognised: the right to life of every human being endangered by abortion”.

He went on: “We are also here to protest against the directives of Minister Speranza who during the pandemic effectively liberalised abortion at home… A decision that… will leave women even more alone in the face of pregnancy, further exposing them to serious risks for physical and mental health”. 

Mario Adinolfi, journalist and President of “Il Popolo della Famiglia” (The People of Family) said: “To meet women and their condition of possible difficulty, the Popolo della Famiglia has been proposing maternity income for years: we are sure that through this tool tens of thousands of children could be saved every year”.

Abortion in Italy

Abortion was legalised in Italy in 1978. Women are permitted to terminate a pregnancy up to 90 days (12 weeks) gestation, de facto on request. After a period of 90 days, abortions are only permitted if a women’s life is at risk or the baby has been diagnosed with a disability, but this must pose a serious danger to the physical or psychological health of the woman. 

Italian law also recognises the right of medics to conscientiously object to performing abortion procedures. 

Apart from in cases of medical emergency, there is a seven-day waiting period between medical authorisation of an abortion and the date of the procedure itself. Parental consent is required for teenage girls who are ages 18 or below.

In 2018, Italy recorded 76,328 abortions. Italy has a population of around 60 million people. To put this number in perspective, England and Wales have a similar population size of around 59 million, but the number of abortions performed there in 2018 was 205,295.

Right To Life UK spokesperson, Catherine Robinson, said: “It is wonderful to see so many enthusiastic pro-lifers take to the streets at such a critical time for Italy and the world, as abortion access has expanded throughout the pandemic. The pro-life movement depends on those people who are willing to publicly and courageously demonstrate their values”.

Dear reader,

You may be surprised to learn that our 24-week abortion time limit is out of line with the majority of European Union countries, where the most common time limit for abortion on demand or on broad social grounds is 12 weeks gestation.

The latest guidance from the British Association of Perinatal Medicine enables doctors to intervene to save premature babies from 22 weeks. The latest research indicates that a significant number of babies born at 22 weeks gestation can survive outside the womb, and this number increases with proactive perinatal care.

This leaves a real contradiction in British law. In one room of a hospital, doctors could be working to save a baby born alive at 23 weeks whilst, in another room of that same hospital, a doctor could perform an abortion that would end the life of a baby at the same age.

The majority of the British population support reducing the time limit. Polling has shown that 70% of British women favour a reduction in the time limit from 24 weeks to 20 weeks or below.

Please click the button below to sign the petition to the Prime Minister, asking him to do everything in his power to reduce the abortion time limit.