Image by Maria Oswalt

WHAT ARE 30 DAY'S IN A PERSON'S LIFETIME?

Nabila Lorini

One month, 1/12 of a year and also the time that we have already spent in quarantine. Yet, 30 days are also 1/3 of the time that a woman is given in Italy to decide if she wants to interrupt a pregnancy.


The right to a voluntary termination of a pregnancy has always been considered as one of feminism’s most important achievements, but still now around the world being able to abort is not something that can be taken for granted. In Italy alone there are several anti-abortion centers where women who want to exercise their right are humiliated and convinced to pursue an unintended pregnancy, with all the consequences that this choice involves. 


Today we are living in a global pandemic and, in the luckiest cases, we are obliged to stay at home. There are many women that besides having to worry about Covid-19 are also facing the struggle of an unwanted pregnancy. Such a situation would already be difficult to cope with in normal circumstances, but right now ProVita and Famiglia, two of Italy’s largest pro-life groups, have launched an online petition addressed to the Ministry of Health to request the suspension of abortion in hospitals, which they consider a non-essential surgical operation. They raised this petition although the Italian law declares a mandatory and unavoidable time limit of 90 days for the interruption of a pregnancy. The petition, which has collected more than 12,000 signatures, mistakenly claims that abortion practices would steal economic resources in the fight against the Coronavirus. Similar arguments have been put forward in the United States to suspend services in Ohio and Texas.


The abortion service has not been interrupted in our country, with the exception of some facilities that are particularly affected by the virus, specifically in Lombardy. Various feminist groups, such as the Italian Pro Choice network, Non Una Di Meno and Obiezione Respinta are currently working to monitor and inform women of hospitals that are still operating. Furthemore, they also request the strengthening of the pharmacological abortion practice with RU486, which can also be performed outside the hospital environment but is still not commonly used in Italian. 


This situation should make us reflect on how important it is still today to fight as women and feminists to protect our rights. To carry out a pregnancy MUST be a personal choice. Giving birth to a new life isn’t a superficial decision to make and, above all, it cannot and must not be conditioned by the will of someone other than the person who has to face all the physical and psychological consequences of giving birth.   


Stay safe and support each other.