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103thousand never-born children over a period of a year in Italy alone. The problem of abortion produces unaware victims, uprooted from their mothers’ womb while they are still forming. The words of the Pope, who, in view of the Jubilee has granted to all priests the right to absolve, after repentance, those who sought and obtained voluntary interruption of pregnancy, have brought attention back to this controversial issue and its social and political implications. The Pope’s decision must not be misunderstood, as some are trying to do. Making the sacrament of Reconciliation easier, although only during the Holy Year, for those who are guilty of this sin does not mean diminishing the sin itself. It is rather an invitation to reflect and to acknowledge the error; elements that are propaedeutic to obtaining forgiveness. After all, mercy is the main theme of the sacred event in program from the upcoming December 8. Father Federico Lombardi reminded this after the publication of the letter that Bergoglio had sent to Monsignor Rino Fisichella. The decision of the Holy Father, explained the Vatican spokesperson: “Is meant to be a sign of extension of the manifestation of Church’s mercy in more accessible and available terms: it is not a attenuation of the sense of gravity” of a crime against life that continues to be perpetrated.

The data contained in the latest report of the Ministry of Health on the implementation of the law 194 (with respect to the year 2013) leaves no doubt: In Italy alone every year at least 103thousand mothers decide not to carry their pregnancy to term.  Numbers have slightly declined if compared to those of 2012 (there was a decrease of 4.2%), yet they are still alarming. 34% of the women who decide to interrupt pregnancy are foreigners. Among minors, on the contrary, the rate is in a slight decrease: 4.4 per thousand. Overall, in Italy the phenomenon is less widespread than in other western European countries. And we should keep in mind that in this area the rates of abortions are among the lowest in the world, according to European Health for All Database ( Hfa-Db)  research: 12 women out of 1000. Those who raise the average rate are the countries of Eastern Europe (Belarus, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia and Ukraine) in which the highest rates in the world are registered.

In the world, on the other hand, there are approximately 43.8 million abortions every year, according to a study on data concerning 2008 by Guttmacher Institute, a non-profit organization that deals with sexual and reproductive health. The report was published in the “Lancet” magazine. More than a half, about 27 million, are practiced in Asia alone, often in precarious conditions of safety and sterility. The country where this practice is the most common is South Korea, where, in 2012,  there were 340thousand abortions and 440thousand births. According to the World Health Organization, every year 22 million abortions endanger women’s health; almost all of them occur in countries with low and middle income. While every year, according to the non-governmental organization International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), 47,000 women lose their lives as a consequence of abortion. In Italy, on the other hand, is growing the number of doctors who are conscientious objectors:  at present those are 7 out of 10, with peaks of 90% in Molise and Campania. Guardians of life often forced to walk on a minefield due to their beliefs. In homage to a freedom of thought that is not always right.


2thousand foetuses deriving from illegal abortions were discovered in 2010 in a Buddhist temple in Bangkok, Thailand

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