Italy: European Committee of Social Rights backs abortion rights protest

A protest at women’s access to abortions in Italy has been upheld by the European Committee of Social Rights.

In its decision on the complaint International Planned Parenthood Federation European Network v. Italy, No. 87/2012, the social rights committee concluded that:

- by 13 votes to 1, that there is a violation of Article 11§1 of the Charter
- by 13 votes to 1 that there is a violation of Article E read in conjunction with Article 11 of the Charter.

In its summary, the report notes that “women seeking access to abortion services in Italy are treated differently than other persons in the same situation with respect to access to health care, without justification.”

The complaint was made to the committee in 2012 by the International Planned Parenthood Federation European Network. It claims that the formulation of Article 9 of Law No. 194 of 1978, which governs the conscientious objection of medical practitioners in relation to the termination of pregnancy, violated the provisions of the Charter, in that it does not does not protect the right to access termination of pregnancy procedures.

Italy will now be expected to comply with the ruling by updating its laws.

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