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Illegal immigration now a crime. PDF Print E-mail
Aug 10, 2009 at 03:51 PM
ImageAs of this week, arriving in Italy and working here illegally will be a crime punishable by fines of between 5,000 and 10,000 euros and with immediate expulsion. Reporting an illegal immigrant (in Italian the term used is "clandestino" is now obligatory by law for anyone but doctors and school principals and renting a home or even a room to someone who is an illegal immigrant at the time the lease is signed (or renewed) is punishable with jail terms of up to three years. Illegal immigrants can be kept in detention centers for up to six months prior to expulsion.

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Italy approves RU486. Vatican issues sharp protests PDF Print E-mail
Aug 01, 2009 at 02:24 PM
Image The Italian Food and Drug agency, Aifa, on Thursday finally approved the use of the medical abortion drug, RU486, in Italy and true to form the Vatican is again threatening with excommunication any one who uses it to procure an abortion along with any one, that is doctors or nurses, who administer it. The government has said that it will guarantee the application of the law, but this may be a problem in a country where seven out of ten doctors working in state-approved hospitals have said they are conscientious objectors and refuse to apply the country's 1978 abortion law. On Sunday, in fact, in what I personally would consider an act of subversion, Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, president of the Italian Bishops' Conference, appealed to doctors to choose conscientious objector status so as to interfere with the use of the pill.
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Abortions decline in Italy; but it may bes tough going for RU486 PDF Print E-mail
Jul 29, 2009 at 05:44 PM
Over the last 25 years, abortions in Italy have declined by almost half, convincing those in favour of free choice here that Law 194, which in 1978 legalized abortions performed in state hospitals and which also provides counselling to women seeking to terminate a pregnancy is working quite well.

The latest figures, released today by the Welfare ministry, reported 121,406 abortions in 2008 compared to 234,801 in 1982, a year after a controversial popular referendum gave final approval to the law despite the fervent opposition of the Church and the then ruling Christian Democratic party. The 2008 figures represented a drop of over four percent from 2007 alone and indicated that the rate of abortions among underage girls is also falling and is now lower than that in most other Western European countries.

A report presented to Parliament by Welfare Undersecretary Eugenia Roccella, also claimed that only about 80,000 of the women who had abortions last year were Italian while the rest were foreign women and immigrants. Using data from 2005, it estimated illegal abortions at about 15,000 compared to 100,000 in 1983, most of which were believed to have taken place in the Italian south. Abortions performed outside a state structure are illegal and the high rate of conscientious objection among Italian doctors - seven out of 10 - and at over 85% in the Mezzogiorno, often leaves women there without any other option.

Meanwhile, attempts to legalize the RU486 pill that provides a medical abortion and which is now available in most of the rest of Europe continues to encounter obstacles here. In here report, Congresswoman Roccella said that the fact that there had been 29 deaths worldwide from the pill raised concerns it might not be safe. The Italian FDA (Aifa) is expected to rule on the question later this week. It's scientific-technical committee has already given its approval but this does not mean the overall body will decide to make the pharmaceutical available. It is well-known that the Roman Catholic Church has been pressuring the government to block sales here.
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