Abortion, in Italy the interruptions of pregnancy are decreasing.  But 2 out of 3 gynecologists are objectors

The number of abortions in Italy is decreasing but 64 percent of gynecologists are conscientious objector. The data comes out of the Report to Parliament on the implementation of law 194/78 on voluntary interruptions of pregnancy (Ivg).

The numbers of voluntary terminations of pregnancy

The Report, which refers to 2020, collects data from the surveillance system which shows that in the course of the year under examination, a total of 66,413 IVGs were recorded, 9.3% less than in 2019.

The abortion rate is equal to 5.4 per thousand women between the ages of 15 and 49, a number among the lowest internationally and down by 6.7% again on 2019.

Abortions have decreased throughout Italy and in particular in the South and in the Islands. The regions in which the greatest decline in absolute numbers of voluntary interruptions of pregnancy has been observed are Basilicata, Sicily, Puglia, Lombardy, Sardinia and, the only one in the North, Valle d’Aosta.

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The reasons for the constant decline of Ivg

Among the reasons for the constant decline in recent years, the Ministerial Report also partially hypothesizes “the increase in the sales of emergency contraceptives following the three Aifa decisions that eliminated the obligation to prescribe medical prescriptions for Ulipristal acetate, known as’ 5 days after pill ‘and for Levonorgestrel, known as the’ morning after pill ‘for women of age. The third determines Aifa has eliminated the prescription requirement for Ulipristal acetate also for minors “.

The numbers of the objectors

At the same time, the Report denounces the situation concerning medical and non-medical personnel who refuse to perform interventions for the termination of pregnancy as conscientious objector. Also in this case the percentage has decreased, but slightly and the numbers are still high: the objection concerns 2 out of 3 gynecologists and almost 1 out of 2 anesthetists, with peaks exceeding 80% in some regions.

According to the Report, in 2020, the percentage of objecting gynecologists nationwide fell to 64.6% from 67% the previous year. There are, however, large regional differences.

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In the autonomous province of Bolzano, 84.5% of gynecologists exercise the right to objection, 83.8% in Abruzzo, 82.8% in Molise, 81.6% in Sicily, and in Basilicata l ’81, 4%. The lowest objection rates among gynecologists are found in the Aosta Valley (25%), in the Autonomous Province of Trento (35.9%) and in Emilia Romagna (45%).

The objection rate among anesthetists is lower but in 2020 it is 44.6%, a slight increase compared to 43.5% in 2019. Also in this case there are large regional differences: ranging from 20% in the Valle d ‘ Aosta to 75.9% of Calabria.

Among non-medical personnel, the objection stands at 36.2% (it was 37.6% in 2019) with a range that goes from 13.3% in Valle d’Aosta to 90% in Molise.

Hope: “The right to abortion must be guaranteed by the Regions”

“The number of conscientious objectors remains high for all health professional categories, in particular for gynecologists. The organization of IVG services must be such that there is a sufficient number of professional figures to guarantee women the possibility of accessing voluntary termination of pregnancy, as indicated in Article 9 of Law No. 194/78. This should be guaranteed by the Regions, to protect the free exercise of women’s sexual and reproductive rights and access to IVG services and minimize the impact conscientious objection in the exercise of this right “, wrote the Minister of Health in the conclusions to the Report Roberto Speranza.

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