Thursday, February 14, 2008

Police seize foetus after abortion tip-off

By Nick Pisa in Rome
A 21-WEEK-OLD foetus was seized by Italian police in a raid on a hospital after a tip-off doctors had been paid to carry out an abortion beyond the legal time limit.

The 39-year-old mother, who had only just returned to the ward from theatre, was questioned as she lay in bed.

In Italy, terminations are allowed until the 90th day and after that until the 24th week only if the baby is seriously damaged, abnormal, or if there is a grave risk to the mother's health.

A police source said they had raided the hospital in Naples after a call "from within the clinic".

But it turned out the termination had been carried out legally after doctors told the woman the baby had a chromosome defect and there was a high risk it would be born mentally handicapped.

The woman said: "It would have been my first child. I was suffering – I wanted a child at all costs. I had no choice. He would have been ill for the rest of his life."

The news brought the abortion debate into the election spotlight, only days after would-be prime minister Silvio Berlusconi said he would back a United Nations moratorium on terminations.

Livia Turco, the health minister, said the Naples episode was the symptom of "an unacceptable climate of tension" over the issue.


Post a Comment

<< Home