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Rights: Ms Blinkeviciute (European Parliament), “according to Italian healthcare operators, Law 194 is fair but not implemented”

“Once a law is passed, it must be implemented”. MEP Vilija Blinkeviciute, chair of the European Parliament’s Committee on Women’s Rights, said this at a Conference in Rome this morning about the visit that a delegation from the Committee made to Italy to assess the implementation of Italian Law No 194 on voluntary termination of pregnancy, trafficking in women, and exploitation of prostitution. Since 17 December, the women MEPs have met with health operators, NGOs and associations, and have visited reception facilities in Rome and Naples. “The goal of our visit to Italy – she went on to say – was to gather information on Law No 194. It was important for us to see the situation. Our meeting with healthcare operators and associations was fruitful; they told us that the law is fair, but it is not implemented. There are not enough gynaecologists and anaesthetists in some hospitals since many of them are conscientious objectors. They told us that the average rate of objectors is 70% in Italy, with peaks of 80-90%. We need to work together to find solutions. It is an Italian problem, but as MEPs, we are responsible for protecting women’s rights. We have discovered that, all too often, women do not receive enough information, and there are cases of discrimination even involving doctors. Women worldwide are very active in promoting equal opportunities in all areas of life and society. A society that guarantees equal rights is richer”, she concluded.

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