Vatican Calls For Change In Abortion Law After Error Performed During Abortion

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The Vatican and some Italian legislators on Monday called for changing the country's abortion law after news of acase in which a healthy twin fetus mistakenly was aborted instead of the other fetus, which had been diagnosed with Down syndrome, AFP/New York Times reports.

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The abortion was preformed on a woman in Milan who had two fetuses at 18weeks' gestation. Physicians said the mistake was the result of the movement by the fetus between the examination and the abortion procedure. Italian news agencies reported that the woman had the remaining fetus aborted and then informed police about the matter (AFP/New York Times, 8/28).

The Vatican newspaper l'Osservatore Romano said the woman's choice was "illegitimate even though it was authorized by law" (Agence France-Presse, 8/27). Sen. Paola Binetti in the Corriere della Sera newspaper wrote, "The time has come to re-examine the abortion law,"adding, "What happened in this hospital was not a medical abortion, but an abortion done for the purposes of eugenics." According to AFP/Philippine Daily Inquirer, Binetti has close ties to the Vatican (AFP/Philippine Daily Inquirer, 8/27).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Weekly Health Disparities Report, search the archives. The Kaiser Weekly Health Disparities Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. 2007 Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.

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