For the first time, legal abortions in Italy have dropped below 100 thousand. A turnaround that was recorded already in 2014, but was still too weak to allow to talk about an actual change of course with respect to the barbarity of the physical elimination of an unborn child. Numbers, in fact, make your blood run cold: since 1978 the number of legal abortions (voluntary terminations of pregnancy) touched nearly 6 million, almost reaching the number of Jewish victims caused by the Nazi regime; a true invisible and silenced holocaust, concealed by law and by the relativism in which modern society is immersed.
According to latest report on the law 194/78 published by the Ministry of Health, one baby out of 6 is legally aborted. These numbers concern voluntary surgical and pharmacological abortions which take place in hospitals, but they do not take into account other legally marketed abortion tools such as the morning after pill and the IUD (often used as “emergency contraception”). The numbers of the massacre of the innocent are actually much higher: a slap in the face of the humankind.
Yet, there are virtuous examples of mothers who choose life even when this means they must come to terms with death. The last case was reported by the Daily Express. It is the story of Heidi Loughlin, a 32 year-old Englishwoman, a police officer who is already the mother of a child. She got cancer shortly after pregnancy (which she discovered due to suspect pain she felt in her breast during nursing). She was carrying her second baby at the time. The sentence of the doctors was very heavy: she needed an immediate aggressive cycle of chemotherapy and had to get an abortion because the risk of malformations was too high for the baby.
But she decides to keep the child and asks the doctors to minimize chemo and safeguard her unborn child. To protect the woman, the baby will be born prematurely, as soon as his conditions allow it, so his mother can undergo the treatments her illness requires. His life expectancy is up to five years, unless a miracle happens. Exactly what Heidi believes in: the miracle of life.
Heidi is not the only woman who has made this choice, both in Italy and abroad. Something is changing in the general attitude. This is a novelty that can be observed in the approach of the Ministry of Health itself to the question of voluntary termination of pregnancy in Italy rather than in the new statistics. As “prevention”, it does no longer list only birth control and the reduction of the failure of contraception, which remain the most widespread tool. Now it includes also the possibility to provide support in cases of difficult motherhood. Those are data we certainly have to welcome, although they are still nebulous. This point does not say anything about the reasons why abortion is requested by pregnant women nor about the possible alternative choices and their effectiveness, there are no funds nor operational tools, only a slight general openness.
Statistics reflect a picture of our world where abortion is still too easily considered to be regular hospital activity, without giving the new life the dignity it deserves, but declassifying the fetus to a shapeless mass of cells. This is not what it is and perhaps a battle of values can still be won. Data provided by family advisory bureaus on this question give tentative encouraging signs: the fact that the number of interviews concerning abortion is higher than that of the certificates that are actually released, are probably the sign of concrete action being taken in order to help women to remove the causes that lead them to terminate pregnancy. A journey that follows two different tracks; on the one hand, there are social welfare conditions that protect women and the unborn child, on the other hand, there is awareness of the fact that life is born at the moment of its conception, beyond any clinical evaluation.
Abortion is not a piece of cake; although unwanted pregnancy is treated as a disease that needs to be eradicated, terminating it is certainly not the same as removing a cyst. Any termination of pregnancy (be it legal, illegal, at home, in a hospital, surgical or pharmacological), involves a woman as a whole: biologically, psychologically, and spiritually speaking. From a physical point of view, it gives the body a sharp countermand, blocking a complex natural process and causing – chemically or mechanically – a trauma, the harbinger of complications and health risks both immediately and in the short and long run.
Psychological consequences, generated by the fact that the woman knows she has not cured a disease, are no less serious. Certain things need to be called by their names, even if most people dislike it and if they are against popular opinion: what is removed from a mother’s womb was a baby, the son or daughter who was not allowed to come to this world by choice. From this awareness derive spiritual and moral consequences. Beyond human laws.