A woman dies in Italy after denying her right to abortion

9 Jul 2020

Valentina Milluzzo entered a hospital in Catania (Italy) on 29 September. Her 19-week pregnancy had just been complicated and she had entered into a premature birth that the doctors managed to control at the time. However, two weeks later he died in the ICU of the same hospital. Now, the Italian prosecutor’s office has begun an investigation to clarify his death after the woman’s family reported the hospital for medical malpractice after refusing to perform the abortion.

When Milluzzo entered the hospital, she was pregnant with twins after having undergone a fertility treatment. After treating the complications, the patient was in a stable condition until October 15 when, suddenly, her blood pressure and temperature dropped and she started to feel bad. After examining it, it was discovered that one of the fetuses had respiratory problems. According to the family lawyer, the hospital refused to abort the fetuses, despite the fact that the mother’s life was in danger.

The family claims that the gynecologist who attended her said, “As long as I’m alive, I will not intervene.” The fetus died hours later, the condition of the mother worsened, contracted an infection and already transferred to the ICU, died on October 16. Milluzzo’s family claims that her death could have been avoided if the attending physician had not refused to practice abortion on the grounds that she was a conscientious objector to this practice.

According to statistics compiled by the Italian Government in 2013, 70% of Italian gynecologists refuse to perform abortions even though the practice is legal, during the first 12 weeks, since 1978. Now only await the results of the investigation to know if everything was a tragic incident or a case of obstetric violence that has ended in death.