Laura (2008) – Italy

Aborto Inchiesta, Reviewed by EC, 5 March 2015

Abortion among the objectors: the Modern Inquisition (Abortire tra gli obiettori. La moderna inquisizione)

In the fifth month of pregnancy, Laura Fiore of Naples discovered she was pregnant with a child with Down syndrome. Aged 39, unemployed, and a mother of a 10-year old, she decided to have an abortion as allowed by Law 194. But at the Polyclinic II in Naples, after a shift change, doctors and medical staff claimed conscientious objection and refused to assist Laura as required by law. Instead, she was put on a path of “torture” and ill-treatment, including psychological mistreatment. She was left to deliver alone, with the fetus still alive attached to the umbilical cord. Only after screaming did Laura receive care.

Even though there was no chance of life, doctors decided to resuscitate the fetus, which survived four days. Then they decided to bury him in a cemetery. They put heavy pressure on both parents, both in a state of shock, to acknowledge the birth and provide a name. Laura was plunged into serious psychological trauma by the health professionals, who inflicted great guilt onto her. It took three years of psychoanalysis for her to get out of it, as well as writing a book “Abortion between objectors”, to expose what was happening in Italy – the indifference and political ferocity (usually male) against women’s freedom as permitted by law.

Watch Laura’s story: (video in Italian):  L’aborto come tortura nell’Italia medievale: la testimonianza di Laura Fiore

Read Laura’s book: “Abortire Tra Gli Obbiettori: the Modern Inquisition”