“I wonder what’s the sense of making a law that gives women the right of choice and then not creating the conditions for them to do so.”
That was the bitter comment of a 41-year-old mother of two, who racked up 22 “unavailables” as she sought an abortion in hospitals across northern Italy. She traveled through three provinces, Veneto, Friuli and Trentino. Finally, only thanks to the intervention of the Italian General Confederation of Labor (CGIL), one of Italy’s largest trade unions, she managed to exercise her right under law 194 at the hospital in Padua, which at first turned her away.
In December the woman discovered she was pregnant and reached the difficult decision not to carry her third pregnancy. But she quickly discovered how low the glass ceiling is in the northeastern health services sector. Gynecologists objected, hospitals lacked beds, people were gone for the holidays.