Until this weekend, women in Italy seeking the abortion pill could do so through the first seven weeks of gestation, and were required to first be admitted to the hospital for medical supervision. But on Saturday, Italy’s health minister Roberto Speranza announced in a tweet that the abortion pill will now be available for outpatient use in the country, and the new guidelines also allow women to take the pill through the ninth week of pregnancy.
According to the Associated Press, Speranza called the move a step forward since Italy first legalized abortion in 1978, and claimed the decision was based on scientific evidence. The country first began allowing the use of the abortion pill in 2009.
Speranza’s deputy, Sandra Zampa, has been quoted saying that the change was necessary because the pill could be taken safely without hospitalization. Pro-choice groups also advocated for the law change on the basis that there was a stigma attached to taking the abortion pill in a hospital because many Italian health care workers have a conscientious objection to abortion.
The AP reports that the change was met with some opposition. Conservative lawmaker Giorgia Meloni warned that removing hospital oversight from the process would result in women being without necessary medical and psychological care, saying they would “experience a difficult and dangerous procedure in solitude.”
The abortion pill is a two-step process using the drugs mifepristone and misoprostol. Mifepristone deprives the preborn baby of progesterone, starving it of nutrients. Take 24-48 hours later, misoprostol causes contractions to make the mother deliver her dead baby.
Despite the Italian minister’s claim that it is safe, the abortion pill can indeed be difficult and dangerous. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lists a host of side effects, including instances of severe hemorrhaging requiring surgery. As of 2018, the U.S. reported 24 deaths related to the use of the abortion pill since it was first legalized in 2000, and over 4,000 more complications have been reported. The number of women negatively impacted by the abortion pill is likely far higher, since emergency rooms are not required to report adverse effects to the FDA. Some studies also show that the abortion pill is four times more dangerous for women than surgical abortion.
Despite Italy’s claim that outpatient use of the abortion pill is a step forward, allowing more widespread distribution of this procedure is dangerous.
Editor’s Note: For information on abortion pill reversal, visit AbortionPillReversal.com.
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